Martha (Gellhorn) Matthews
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Martha Ellis (Gellhorn) Matthews (1908 - 1998)

Martha Ellis Matthews formerly Gellhorn aka Hemingway
Born in St. Louis County, Missouri, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married Nov 1940 (to 1945) [location unknown]
Wife of — married about 1954 (to 1963) [location unknown]
[children unknown]
Died at age 89 in London, England, United Kingdommap
Profile last modified | Created 15 Dec 2008
This page has been accessed 2,199 times.
Notables Project
Martha (Gellhorn) Matthews is Notable.


She was born on 08 Nov 1908 in St.Louis County, Missouri, USA [1] and her parents were Edna E. (Fischel) and George Gellhorn.

Martha Ellis Gellhorn had her first major affair was with the French economist, Bertrand de Jouvenel. It began in 1930, when she was 22 years old, and lasted until 1934. She would have married him, if his wife had consented to a divorce. [2]

Martha first married in November 1940 to Ernest Miller Hemingway.

Martha married secondly about 1954 to Thomas Stanley Matthews.

She reported on virtually every major world conflict that took place during her 60-year career. [3]

"... considered by the London Daily Telegraph, among others, to be one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century ... life long friend of Eleanor Roosevelt ... published numerous books ... resented her reflected fame as Hemingway's third wife, remarking that she had no intention of "being a footnote in someone else's life". "

She died on 15 Feb 1998 in London, England. [4]


  1. Missouri Birth Records 1851-1910 for Marita Ellis Gellhorn
  2. in french
  3. Wikipedia: Martha Gellhorn
  4. Web: Obituary Daily Times Index 1995-2012 for Martha Gellhorn


  • WikiTree profile Gellhorn-2 was created on 30 Nov 2011 by Stephen Hemingway through the import of hemingway.ged
  • WikiTree profile Gellhorn-4 was created on 13 Apr 2014 by Nalani Briggs through the import of Kupau-Vetu-Briggs Tree-4-13-2014-910PM.ged

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2021-12-19 Martha Gellhorn - The Face of War - The Wall Street Journal

“A wonderful New Year’s Resolution for the men who run the world; get to know the people who only live in it.” Martha Gellhorn.

Judith Makrell, Five Best on Women in World War II, The Wall Street Journal, December 18 - 19, 2021, page C8.

No. 1 The Face of War by Martha Gellhorn (1959).

When the buccaneering journalist Marie Colvin reported from the battle zones of the late 20th century, she kept a copy of Martha Gellhorn's collected war essays in her bag.

To Colvin and her generation, Gellhorn was a pioneer, a woman who challenged the prejudices of a misogynist military (as well as the ego of her husband, Ernest Hemingway) to claim her position as a frontline journalist.

But Gellhorn was also a supremely humane writer. In her coverage of World War II, no less than in her reports from Spain and Vietnam, she wrote with heart-wrenching directness about the courage of individual soldiers and the catastrophic suffering of civilians. A fierce, fastidious stylist, Gellhorn still has the power to shock, not least in the unflinching account she gives of the sights, smells and sensations of war.

An even fiercer moralist, her work continues to drive home the message that wars are far less often fought on grounds of idealism than of cynicism and greed.


Judith Makrell, the author most recently of ”The Correspondents: Six Women Writers on the Front Lines of World War II”.

posted by Richard (Jordan) J
The Wall Street Journal, January 12-13, 2019

Five Best Memoirs of War Reporting, by Eric Severeid

No. 3 The Face of War, By Martha Gellhorn (First published in 1959; updated in 1967 and 1986)

Few reporters wrote about war with more passion and sensitivity than Martha Gellhorn. She was for a time famous mainly for being Ernest Hemingway's wife, but her reporting on the wars in Spain, Germany and Vietnam would reveal her own unmistakable gift as a reporter—a kind so powerful readers could easily forget about Hemingway. She began her career, she notes, believing in the "perfectibility of man" and in "journalism as a guiding light"; she ended it convinced that the "guiding light of journalism was no stronger than a glow-worm."

Still, her book is aglow with insights into historic events, luminous in its comment on all she witnessed. The Russian colonel, for example, standing guard on the Elbe River in April 1945, thrilled to see an "Amerikanski," possessed of "a handshake like the death squeeze of a grizzly bear," but able to say only "nyet" to any request for information; or her visit to Dachau in May 1945, where she came upon "piles" of naked bodies “the S.S. had not had time to burn"; or Saigon in 1966, where she went "because I had to learn for myself, since I could not learn from anyone else, what was happening to the voiceless Vietnamese people."

posted by Richard (Jordan) J
For your consideration. The following BBC program quotes Martha Gellhorn several times and provides a context for Martha's war reporting.

Regarding the Pain of Others

Sun 30 May 2021, BBC RADIO 3

posted by Richard (Jordan) J

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Categories: Notables