The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a short story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
In 1860 Baltimore, Benjamin is born with the physical appearance of a 70-year-old man, already capable of speech. His father Roger invites neighborhood boys to play with him and orders him to play with children's toys, but Benjamin obeys only to please his father. At five, Benjamin is sent to kindergarten but is quickly withdrawn after he repeatedly falls asleep during child activities. When Benjamin turns 20, the Button family realizes that he is aging backwards. At the age of 18, Benjamin enrolls in Yale College, but is sent home by officials, who think he is a 50-year-old lunatic.
In 1880, when Benjamin is 20, his father gives him a control of Roger Button & Co. Wholesale Hardware. He meets the young Hildegarde Monchrief, a daughter of General Moncrief, and falls in love with her. Hildegarde mistakes Benjamin for a 50-year-old brother of Roger Button; she prefers older men and marries him six months later, but remains ignorant of his condition. Years later, Benjamin's business has been successful, but he is tired of Hildegarde because her beauty has faded and she nags him. Bored at home, he enlists in the Spanish–American War in 1898 and achieves great triumph in the military, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He retires from the army to focus on his company, and receives a medal.
In 1910, Benjamin, now looking like a 20-year-old, turns over control of his company to his son, Roscoe, and enrolls at Harvard University. His first year there is a great success: he dominates in football and takes revenge against Yale for rejecting him years before. However, during his junior and senior years he is only 16 years old, too weak to play football and barely able to cope with the academic work. After graduation, Benjamin returns home, only to learn that his wife has moved to Italy.