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Local Historian: 'Great Gatsby' Has Hackensack Ties

From left: Historic New Bridge Landing Commission officers Mary Donohue, Jim Bellis, Senator Loretta Weinberg, Kevin Wright, Chairman Mike Trepicchio and Governor Jon Corizine. Photo Credit: Bergen County Historical Society
"The Great Gatsby," by F. Scott Fitzgerald, former Hackensack student. Photo Credit: psu.edu

HACKENSACK, N.J. — A local historian is confirming that parts of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” were inspired by the author’s real-life experiences in Hackensack, northjersey.com reports.

Kevin Wright, a former Bergen County Historical Society president from River Edge said Jay Gatsby — the protagonist who tries to win back the rich girl who broke his heart — is based on what happened to Fitzgerald when he was a student at Essex Street’s now-defunct The Newman School, in 1911, according to the report .

"It was certainly the Gilded Age place to be," Wright told northjersey.com . "If you think visually of the [county] courthouse they built in 1912 – this million-dollar marble palace – that courthouse was a symbol of that era in Hackensack."

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