Author of such renowned detective novels as The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man, and The Glass Key. He is famous for his legendary hard-boiled detective protagonists, Sam Spade and Nick and Nora Charles.
He dropped out of school at age thirteen and worked for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency beginning in 1915. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the Motor Ambulance Corps during World War I.
His 1929 work, Red Harvest, was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels.
He married Joesephine Dolan; the couple's two daughters, Mary Jane and Josephine, were born in 1921 and 1926. Following his divorce, he had high profile relationships with author Nell Martin and playwright Lillian Hellman.
He and Arthur Conan Doyle both wrote detective novels.