Himes, Chester (Bomar)(1909–84) writer; born in Jefferson City, Mo. He studied at Ohio State University (1926–28), was convicted of armed robbery (1928), and spent six years in prison. After his release he worked as a journalist in Cleveland, as a writer for the labor movement, and at various other jobs. His early novels, such as Lonely Crusade (1947), tended to focus on racial issues in contemporary America. By 1953 he had moved abroad and he lived thereafter in Paris and Spain. Because he was an African-American writer he found both he and his work were more appreciated in Europe than in America. He is best known for his series of crime novels featuring the detective, "Grave Digger" Johnson (1957–80).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.