Remembered as one of France's greatest short story writers, de Maupassant penned an 1880 masterpiece titled "Boule de Suif" ("Butterball") and went on to write many other popular stories, including "La Bete a Mait Belhomme" ("Belhomme's Beast"); "La Ficelle" ("The Piece of String"); and "Pierrot" ("Sparrow").
During the Franco-Prussian War, he worked as a clerk for the French Navy. Later, he edited such Parisian journals as Le Figaro and Le Gaulois; it was during this period that he wrote his first short stories.
He was one of a group of Parisian writers and artists who opposed the construction of the Eiffel Tower.
He and his brother Herve were born to wealthy parents named Laure Le Poittevin and Gustave de Maupassant.
His short story "The Necklace" inspired author Henry James' 1899 piece "Paste."