9 Fascinating Facts About the Glamorous Zelda Fitzgerald

You’re probably familiar with Zelda Fitzgerald as being one of the first flappers. She was a free spirit that became an influential icon during the Jazz Age. Her relationship with her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald, was very rocky despite many believing in their fairytale romance. Today, let’s take look at some interesting facts about the famous icon.


She Had a Disorderly Marriage

You’ve probably heard stories about how the Fitzgerald’s were head over heels for each other. However, their fairytale romance was far from romantic. Blinded by alcoholism they were both fueled by jealousy and mutual infidelity. At one point, Zelda had even accused F. Scott of having an affair with his friend Ernest Hemingway. The couple never filed for divorce, but remained separated until F. Scott’s death in 1940.

She Came from a Influential Family

Born Zelda Sayre in Montgomery, Alabama, the Sayre family was a very influential family in their hometown. Her father, Anthony Dickinson Sayre was a lawyer who also worked as a state senator, city judge, state legislature, and even a justice for the Supreme Court of Alabama. In addition to having a powerful father, Zelda’s grandfather and great uncle both served in the United States Senate.

The Fitzgerald Couple Blamed Each Other

Adding another issue to a long list of marital troubles, the couple constantly accused each other of plagiarism. It’s common knowledge that F. Scott has based many characters on his wife Zelda. He has also adapted real life experiences into his novels. Zelda has even spoken out about her husband’s plagiarism saying that he “seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home.” However, Zelda isn’t the only one to accuse F. Scott of plagiarism. F. Scott accused Zelda’s one and only novel of using too many real life experiences that he planned on using in one of his upcoming novels. He was also very upset by her taking one of his character’s names from one his earliest novels.

She Was a Free Spirit

Known as the first flapper, Zelda was definitely a wild child growing up. She had a rebellious streak and did everything she wasn’t supposed to. She often drank alcohol, smoked, and spent too much time with boys. Her care free spirit gave he the reputation that eventually made people consider her the very first flapper.

She’s Become an Inspiration

Many of you are probably familiar with the video game The Legend of Zelda. Well Zelda Fitzgerald is considered the inspiration for our favorite heroine. Designer, Shigeru Miyamoto was inspired by Zelda stating that “She was a famous and beautiful woman from all accounts, and I liked the sound of her name.”

She Was Extremely Passionate About Ballet

When she was a young girl, Zelda was trained in ballet. However, she stopped as she got older. It wasn’t until her late 20’s that Zelda had taken up an interest in ballet again. Zelda began obsessively training while she lived in France. Hoping to make a name for herself as a professional dancer, she spent most of her time practicing. Unfortunately, her dreams came to screeching halt when she had a mental breakdown in 1930.

Ballet Wasn’t Her Only Passion

Zelda Fitzgerald was an extremely talented woman. Her passions included ballet, writing, and even painting. Zelda was placed in and out of mental hospitals between the 1930’s and 1940’s. She had been officially diagnosed with schizophrenia, but many modern experts believe that she most likely suffered from bipolar disorder. During the time she spent in and out of these institutions, Zelda always tried to keep herself busy. She spent her free time painting and writing. She began working on her second novel and even painted scenes from the popular children’s novel, Alice in Wonderland. 

The Eagles Wrote a Song About Her

Don Henley of the Eagles, was inspired by Zelda after reading her autobiography. In 1972, Henley wrote the song Witchy Woman after her. Henley has stated that this was “an important song for me, because it marked the beginning of my professional songwriting career.”

She Was Tragically Killed

In the 1940’s, Zelda was in and out of the mental hospital Highland Hospital which was located in North Carolina. Unfortunately, Zelda’s life ended on March 10th, 1949 after a fire had broke out in the hospital’s kitchen. Zelda had been sedated in a waiting room while she waited for a session of electroshock therapy. The fire spread rapidly through the hospital and along with eight other women, Zelda was killed. She was only 47 years old at the time of her death.