Chandler, Raymond

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Chandler, Raymond (Thornton)

(1888–1959) writer; born in Chicago. Taken to England by his mother at age nine, he was educated there and on the Continent. He worked as a journalist for English magazines and served in the Canadian army in World War I. Settling in the U.S.A. in 1919, he worked as a businessman, including ten years with the oil industry (1922–32), but with the publication of his first crime story in Black Mask magazine in 1933, he concentrated on writing. He created his hard-boiled sleuth, Phillip Marlowe, and tawdry underworld settings for his first novel, The Big Sleep (1939); Marlowe reappeared in subsequent works, including Farewell, My Lovely (1940) and The Long Goodbye (1954), which helped establish the American conventions of the genre. He moved between California and London in his later years.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.