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Passings | Matthew J. Bruccoli

Author, expert on F. Scott Fitzgerald

June 06, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Matthew J. Bruccoli, 76, a University of South Carolina English professor who wrote and edited about two dozen books on author F. Scott Fitzgerald, died Wednesday of a brain tumor at his home in Columbia, S.C.

Bruccoli taught at the university for almost 40 years and was the Emily Brown Jefferies distinguished professor emeritus. He was best known for his authoritative works on Fitzgerald, including "Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald" (1981) and "Scott and Ernest: The Fitzgerald-Hemingway Friendship" (1978). He also wrote and edited dozens of books on other 20th century writers, including Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, John O'Hara and James Dickey.

He and his wife, Arlyn, donated an extensive collection of books, manuscripts, letters and other materials by and about Fitzgerald to the university's Thomas Cooper Library.

"I couldn't find a coffin with bookshelves," Bruccoli said when he made the donation. The collection includes signed first-edition works and other rarities, such as Fitzgerald's briefcase and even his whiskey flask.

Born Aug. 21, 1931, in New York, Bruccoli earned his bachelor's degree at Yale and his master's and doctorate at the University of Virginia.

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