Ernest Hemingway's Father Clarence Commits Suicide
Suffering from severe diabetes and concerned about his financial future, Clarence Hemingway shot himself on December 6, 1928 with his father's Smith and Wesson .32 revolver.
In The Sound of the Trumpet, Leicester Hemingway, Ernest's younger brother, described the scene: "There on the bed lay his father, making hoarse breathing noises. His eyes were closed, and in that first instant as he saw him there in the half-dark, nothing looked wrong. He put his hand under his father's head. His hand slipped under easily and when he brought it out again, it was wet-warm with blood."
Clarence Hemingway had begun to suffer from a number of physical ailments that would exacerbate an already fragile mental state. He had developed diabetes, endured painful angina and extreme headaches. On top of these physical problems he also suffered from a dismal financial situation after speculative real estate purchases in Florida never panned out. His problems seemingly insurmountable, Clarence Hemingway shot himself in the head. Ernest immediately traveled to Oak Park to arrange for his funeral.