Jay Gatsby, the fictional anti-hero of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby," was born in 1892. His name at birth was Jay Gatz; he changed his surname to Gatsby at the age of 17.
Gatsby was born in North Dakota into a poor family, though he wanted to forget his humble roots. He changed his name because he believed it sounded more respectable to the upper classes to which he aspired. This desire was sparked by his love for Daisy Buchanan, a young woman with whom he fell in love during the war. After the war, when he learned she has married a rich man, he saw becoming a part of her upper-class social circle as the only way to maintain contact with her, and this became a central part of his tragedy.