Samuel Dashiell Hammett was born on the son of Richard Hammett a farmer and local politician on May 27, 1894 in a small town in St. Mary's County, Maryland and he grew up in Philadelphia and Baltimore.
He left school at fourteen and went to work at a series of jobs to help support his family. At 21, he became an operative for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. His detective career was interrupted by World War 1, in which Hammett served as a sergeant and contracted TB. When he was finally discharged from the last of several hospitals, he resumed detective work. Subsequently he turned to writing, and in the late 1920's he became the unquestioned master of detective fiction in America.1927 to 1930 was a frantic period during which Hammett wrote his best work.
Hammett married a nurse and they settled in San Francisco and had two daughters. But Hammett’s marriage faltered, and he drifted down to Hollywood looking for writing opportunities in the movies.
In 1955 he suffered a heart attack and from then
on became very frail. He died on 13th January 1961of lung cancer at the
age of 67, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Samuel Dashiell Hammett is recognized as the first master of hard-boiled detective fiction. His lean writing style, cynical characters and complex plots brought a new energy to pulp magazines then went on to define the genre in movies, radio and television where the private eye series became an entertainment staple.