Mary Welsh was born in 1908 in Walker, Minnesotta. Her childhood was spent in the forests in summer, and skating on nearby lakes in the winters. By the time she met Ernest Hemingway in London in 1944, Mary Welsh had already been twice married, and was well respected as a journalist and war reporter.
After working on the Chicago Daily News in the late 1930s, Mary moved to London, convinced that a second major war was about to break out. Here she worked for the Daily Express and Time Magazine.
In the spring of 1944 she met another female correspondent – Martha Gellhorn. A few months later, she was to meet her husband, Ernest Hemingway. Mary and Ernest became intimate at the Hôtel Ritz in Paris during the city’s liberation (although he was still married to Martha).
After Martha divorced Ernest (the only one of his wives to do so), Ernest and Mary married in Havana, Cuba, in 1946.