Raymond Chandler, creator of detective Philip Marlowe, is born in Chicago on this day.
Chandler was raised in England, where he went to college and worked as a freelance journalist for several newspapers. During World War I, Chandler served in the Royal Flying Corps. After the war, he moved to California, where he eventually became the director of several independent oil companies. He lost his job during the Depression, and he turned to writing to support himself at the age of 45. He published his first stories in the early 1930s in the pulp magazine Black Mask and published his first novel, The Big Sleep, in 1939. He published only seven novels, among them Farewell My Lovely (1946) and The Long Goodbye (1953), all featuring tough, cynical Detective Philip Marlowe. William Faulkner wrote the screen version of The Big Sleep, which starred Humphrey Bogart as Marlowe.
Chandler also wrote Hollywood screenplays in the 1940s and early 1950s, including Double Indemnity (1949) and Strangers on a Train (1951). He died in 1959.