Written in 1951, The Old Man and the Sea is Hemingway's final work published during his lifetime. The first edition print run of the book was 50,000 copies and five million copies of the magazine were sold in two days.

The Old Man and the Sea became a Book of the Month Club selection, and made Hemingway a celebrity. In May 1953, the novella received the Pulitzer Prize and was specifically cited when in 1954 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature which he dedicated to the Cuban people. The success of The Old Man and the Sea made Hemingway an international celebrity. The Old Man and the Sea is taught at schools around the world and continues to earn foreign royalties.