Hemingway's Siblings

Dr. Hilary Justice (JFK Library). 

Banner image (July 13, 1915) courtesy Clarke Historical Library. Used by permission.

Updated 9/2023.

Ernest Hemingway was the second of six children born to Grace Hall Hemingway and Clarence (Ed) Hemingway.  

The Hemingway siblings lined up in order of age in front of the family's cottage, Windemere, on Walloon Lake, Michigan, 1916.  Their mother, Grace Hall Hemingway, helps steady the baby, Leicester, standing in front of his older siblings.
The Hemingway siblings at Windemere Cottage, 1916. From right to left: Leicester (holding Grace Hemingway's hand), Carol, Madelaine, Ursula, Ernest, and Marcelline. Ernest Hemingway Photographs Collection 001 009 09804aP.

Hemingway's practice of nicknaming family members began at an extremely young age.  As a toddler, he pretended his family were all bears, naming his father "Da Bear" and his elder sister "Sissy Bear." (His nickname for his mother was "Fweetie" ["Sweetie"].)  Family nicknames for the Hemingway children are included below.

Marcelline (Marce) Hemingway Sanford

(January 15, 1898-December 9, 1963)

Lecturer on literature and theater. Married Sterling S. Sanford in 1923.  Author of At the Hemingways (1962).

Ernest (Ernie) Miller Hemingway

(July 21, 1899-July 2, 1961)

Ursula (Ura) Xavier Hemingway Jepson

(April 29, 1902-October 30, 1966)

Artist; married Jasper J. Jepson.  Established the Ernest Hemingway Memorial award for creative writing at the University of Hawaii.

Madelaine (Sunny) Hemingway Mainland Miller

(November 28, 1904-January 14, 1995)

Musician; harpist with the Memphis Symphony. Married (1) Kenneth Mainlaind; (2) Ernest J. Miller; twice widowed. Given family cottage, Windemere, after Ernest Hemingway inherited it from their mother. Author of Ernie: Hemingway's Sister Sunny Remembers (1975).

Carol (Nunbones) Hemingway Gardner

(July 19, 1911-October 27, 2002)

After their father's death in 1928, Ernest Hemingway became Carol's legal guardian.  The two had a falling out in 1933 over Carol's relationship with Jack Gardner and never spoke or corresponded again.

Leicester (Les) Clarence Hemingway

(April 1, 1915-September 13, 1982)

Novelist; conservationist. Author of My Brother, Ernest Hemingway (1962). Married (1) Patricia (Patti) Shedd; (2) Doris Mae Dunning.


Leicester Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, and Ernest Hemingway relaxing on Leicester's sailboat, Havana, 1939.
Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway with Leicester Hemingway in 1939, aboard the sailboat Les built. Ernest Hemingway Photographs Collection 05628.