'FBI led Hemingway to kill himself'
Sun Jul 3, 2011 2:15PM
A close friend of American writer Ernest Hemingway claims the Nobel prize-winning novelist took his life due to the “anguish” caused by FBI surveillance.
AE Hotchner, who was Hemingway's friend and collaborator during the last 13 years of his life, said the FBI surveillance "substantially contributed to his anguish and his suicide", adding that he had "regretfully misjudged" his friend's fear of the organization.
Hemingway committed suicide at his Idaho home, shooting himself while his wife Mary slept.
His death baffled many experts some of whom believed it to be the result of his depression and some others suggested it was caused by a personality disorder, The Guardian reported.
Hotchner's suggestion, previously dismissed as a paranoid delusion of the writer, has once again surfaced Hemingway's fear of being bugged and followed by the FBI, who were suspicious of his links with Cuba.
Writing in The New York Times on the 50th anniversary of Hemingway's death, Hotchner, author of Papa Hemingway and Hemingway and His World refers to two incidents when the writer had complained about being under FBI surveillance.
Hemingway's hospitalization at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and the unsuccessful suicide attempts following his release, caused many to judge him as being delusional.
Hemingway's FBI file was released in the 1980s following a Freedom of Information request by a University of Colorado academic called Jeffrey Myers.
The file showed that the organization had a keen interest in Hemingway and his wartime attempts to set up an anti-fascist spy network.
In January 1961, however, the special agent who was tasked with following Hemingway reported Hoover that The Old Man and the Sea writer "was physically and mentally ill."