The estimation of Hemingway in his high-school yearbook was "None are to be found more clever than Ernie." The observation reflected the respect he had earned for his abilities both in academics and in such extracurricular endeavors as his editorship of the school newspaper. The next logical step following graduation seemed to be college. Hemingway, however, was having none of that. Anxious to be independent, he decided instead to go to Kansas City, Missouri, and become a reporter for the Kansas City Star.
In 1917, the Kansas City Star was among the best newspapers in the country. Its staff boasted many bright and talented writers, and Hemingway's exposure to the intellectual interests of these reporters broadened his own perspectives substantially. Their influence doubtless also fed his nascent aspirations to write fiction. As one Star veteran recalled years later, just about every reporter during Hemingway's tenure on the paper harbored dreams of writing a novel.