Living on $500,000 a Year

A study of the tax returns of F. Scott Fitzgerald provides a snapshot of his lifestyle in the first half of the 20th century.

Over Fitzgerald’s working life, he reported a total of $449,713 in gross income, and he paid $24,666 in taxes—thus the effective tax rate of 5.5 percent. Most of his earnings came from the short stories and, later, the movies. His best novels, The Great Gatsby (1925) and Tender Is the Night (1934), did not produce much income. Royalties from The Great Gatsby totaled only $8,397 during Fitzgerald’s lifetime. Today Gatsby is read in nearly every high school and college and regularly produces $500,000 a year in Scottie’s trust for her children.

(via kottke)

10.29.2009Tagged with: