Frances Kroll Ring
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Frances Kroll Ring

Frances Kroll Ring (May 17, 1916 - June 18, 2015) was the last secretary and personal assistant to F. Scott Fitzgerald before his death.[1] She worked for him for 20 months in 1939 and 1940.[2] She typed drafts of The Last Tycoon and served as a sounding board as he worked on the story; she also did the same for two other projects he was working on, the Pat Hobby stories and a screenplay based on his story "Babylon Revisited."[3]

Ring wrote that she paid Dr. Clarence H. Nelson's bill ($25) after Fitzgerald's death.[4] Fitzgerald had consulted Dr. Nelson complaining of "aches around the elbow and shoulder. . . whenever I have had a great orgy of cokes or coffee." [5] On Feb 7, 1940, Fitzgerald wrote to Dr. Nelson, telling him that he was not drinking and would pay his medical bill soon.[6] Fitzgerald died suddenly of a myocardial infarct in the apartment of Sheilah Graham, December 21, 1940, 5:15 pm, and Dr. Nelson signed the death certificate.[7] Ring selected a gray casket for Fitzgerald's burial.[2]

In 1985 Ring published a memoir titled Against the Current: As I Remember F. Scott Fitzgerald; the title is from a sentence in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby - "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."[2] The memoir was eventually made into a movie, Last Call, starring Jeremy Irons as Fitzgerald and Neve Campbell as young Frances Kroll Ring.[1]

Ring was also the editor of the Automobile Club of Southern California's Westways magazine, and brought some of the best writers of the time to it, including Anais Nin and Wallace Stegner.[2] She also worked as a story reader for Paramount and a book reviewer.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Frances Kroll Ring, 1916 - 2015 | Jewish Women's Archive". Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b c d "Frances Kroll Ring dies at 99; secretary and assistant to author F. Scott Fitzgerald". LA Times. Retrieved .
  3. ^ a b By Stuart Lavietes (2015-06-26). "Frances Kroll Ring, secretary to Fitzgerald, dies at 99". The Boston Globe. Retrieved .
  4. ^ Frances Kroll Ring. Against the Current: As I Remember F. Scott Fitzgerald. Figueroa Press (June 2005) p120
  5. ^ Robert Westbrook. Intimate lies: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sheilah Graham : her son's story. HarperCollins Publisher, Jul 6, 1995 p 397
  6. ^ The Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Laurel edition. 1966 p 623
  7. ^ Matthew J. Bruccoli, Scottie Fitzgerald Smith. Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald. University of South Carolina Press; Revised edition (August 1, 2002) p 489

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