Ernest Hemingway: 10 quotes on his birthday

Ernest Hemingway, American journalist and author, was born in Oak Park, Illinois on July 21, 1899. He began his career as a reporter for The Kansas City Star at the age of 17. When the United States joined World War I, Hemingway quit his job to volunteer as an ambulance driver for the Italian army. He was seriously wounded shortly after arriving and was sent home. His novel "A Farewell to Arms" (1929) was born out of this experience. When the war ended, Hemingway continued his career as an international newspaper reporter. In the 1920s Hemingway joined a group of American expatriates in Paris which he later depicted in his novel "The Sun Also Rises" (1926). Drawing on his experiences as a reporter, Hemingway’s most ambitious work,"For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1940), is set in Spain during the Spanish Civil War.  Hemingway wrote "The Old Man and the Sea" (1952) – his story of an elderly fisherman struggling with a giant marlin – while living in Cuba. This remains one of the best-read of his works to this day. In 1954 Hemingway received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work. Over his lifetime he wrote seven novels, six short story collections, and two works of nonfiction.  

1. True nobility

Photo taken by Lloyd Arnold, 1939

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

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