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Dashiell Hammett Biography | Author of The Maltese Falcon

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Author Biography

Born in 1894 in Saint Mary's County, Maryland, Samuel Dashiell Hammett grew up in Philadelphia and then Baltimore. He attended the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, dropping out at age fourteen to help his family financially. That led to a series of positions, including store clerk, newsboy, machine operator, and stevedore. Eventually, he became an operative for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, a nationwide franchise.

Hammett served as an ambulance clerk during World War I. During the war, he contracted influenza, which affected his health for the rest of his life. Returning to civilian life, he settled in San Francisco, the city that has become associated with him through his works. Hammett married Josephine Dolan, a nurse he met while recuperating, in 1921. From 1922 to 1926, most of his living was made writing copy for advertisements. He also worked part-time for the Pinkerton agency, when his health allowed.

His first short story was published...

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This section contains 387 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Maltese Falcon Study Guide
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The Maltese Falcon from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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