spacer Martha Gellhorn In late 1936, Ernest Hemingway met writer Martha Gellhorn. She was blond, pretty, and successful, and Hemingway was immensely attracted to her. By early the next year, she had joined him in Spain, where he was covering the Civil War, and there the relationship blossomed into a full-blown affair. In late 1940, soon after his divorce from his second wife, Pauline, became final, he married Gellhorn.

Unlike Pauline, Gellhorn was not willing to dedicate herself almost entirely to catering to Hemingway's wants. That unwillingness created difficulties practically from the start, and by the time Gellhorn divorced him in 1945, the marriage was long over.

Martha Gellhorn 1908-1998
Unidentified photographer / Gelatin silver print, circa 1940
Image courtesy Ernest Hemingway Collection, John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, Massachusetts


Past Exhibitions | National Portrait Gallery Home

Spanish Civil War
For Whom the Bell Tolls