Bruccoli, Matthew J. 1931–2008

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Bruccoli, Matthew J. 1931–2008

(Matthew Joseph Bruccoli)


See index for CA sketch: Born August 21, 1931, in New York, NY; died of a brain tumor, June 4, 2008, in Columbia, SC. Educator, literary scholar, publisher, editor, and author. Bruccoli is remembered above all as the ultimate expert on the life and literature of author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Over a long career, he wrote at least thirty books and edited at least eighty more, most of which were devoted to Fitzgerald. He collected every scrap of Fitzgerald material that he could unearth and never tired of his subject. Yet critics were careful to note that, despite Bruccoli's obvious passion for Fitzgerald, his books were noticeably objective. Bruccoli established his base at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, where he taught English for nearly forty years, retiring as the Emily Brown Jefferies Distinguished Professor of English in 2008. He also directed the university's Center for Editions of American Authors and curated the Matthew J. and Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald, which he had donated to the Thomas Cooper Library in 1996. Bruccoli was deeply committed to the preservation and promotion of American literature. He was a partner of Bruccoli Clark Publishers, beginning in 1972, and the president of the successor firm of Bruccoli Clark Layman. He became the president of the Manly Company, another publisher affiliated with Bruccoli Clark Layman, in 1987. He edited several series of reference books, including the Gale "Dictionary of Literary Biography" and "First Printings of American Authors" series. Bruccoli wrote about dozens of American literary figures, from Ernest Hemingway and John O'Hara to Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald, to James Dickey and Joseph Heller. He earned the greatest acclaim, however, for his tenacious Fitzgerald scholarship, including the books The Last of the Novelists: F. Scott Fitzgerald and "The Last Tycoon" (1977), Scott and Ernest: The Authority of Failure and the Authority of Success (1978), and Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald (1981). Bruccoli's other books include the edited collections The Price Was High: The Last Uncollected Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald (1979) and The Romantic Egoists: A Pictorial Autobiography from the Scrapbooks and Albums of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald (2003).



Layman, Richard, and Joel Myerson, editors, The Professions of Authorship: Essays in Honor of Matthew j. Bruccoli, University of South Carolina Press (Columbia, SC), 1996.


Chicago Tribune, June 7, 2008, sec. 1, p. 21. Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2008, p. B9.