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Samuel Dashiell Hammett (May 27, 1894 – January 10, 1961) was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories, a screenplay writer, and political activist. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), and the Continental Op (Red Harvest and The Dain Curse).

In addition to the significant influence his novels and stories had on film, Hammett "is now widely regarded as one of the finest mystery writers of all time" and was called, in his obituary in The New York Times, "the dean of the... 'hard-boiled' school of detective fiction." Time magazine included Hammett's 1929 novel Red Harvest on a list of the 100 best English-language novels published between 1923 and 2005.
Hammett was born on a farm called Hopewell and Aim in St. Mary's County, in southern Maryland. His parents were Richard Thomas Hammett and Anne Bond Dashiell. His mother belonged to an old Maryland family whose name was Anglicized from the French De Chiel. Hammett was baptized a Catholic and grew up in Philadelphia and Baltimore. "Sam", as he was known before he began writing, left school when he was 13 years old and held several jobs before working for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. He served as an operative for the Pinkertons from 1915 to February 1922, with time off to serve in World War I. However, the agency's role in union strike-breaking eventually disillusioned him.

Hammett enlisted in the Army in 1918 and served in the Motor Ambulance Corps. However, he became ill with the Spanish flu and later contracted tuberculosis. He spent most of his time in the Army as a patient in Cushman Hospital, Tacoma, Washington. While there he met a nurse, Josephine Dolan, whom he later married.
Hammett and Dolan were married, and they had two daughters, Mary Jane (born 15 October 1921) and Josephine (born in 1926). Shortly after the birth of their second child, Health Services nurses informed Josephine that due to Hammett's TB, she and the children should not live with him full-time. Josephine rented a home in San Francisco, where Hammett would visit on weekends. The marriage soon fell apart, but he continued to financially support his wife and daughters with the income he made from his writing.
Hammett became an alcoholic before working in advertising and, eventually, writing. His previous work at the detective agency provided him the inspiration for his writings. Hammett wrote most of his detective fiction during the period that he was living in San Francisco (the 1920s), and specific streets and locations in San Francisco are frequently mentioned in his stories. He was first published in 1922 in the magazine The Smart Set. Known for his authenticity and realism in his writing, Hammett drew on his experiences as a Pinkerton operative. As Hammett said: "All my characters were based on people I've known personally, or known about." Raymond Chandler, often considered Hammett's successor, summarized his accomplishments:

Hammett was the ace performer... He is said to have lacked heart; yet the story he himself thought the most of The Glass Key is the record of a man's devotion to a friend. He was spare, frugal, hard-boiled, but he did over and over again what only the best writers can ever do at all. He wrote scenes that seemed never to have been written before. - Chandler, The Simple Art of Murder

From 1929 to 1930 Dashiell was romantically involved with Nell Martin, an author of short stories and several novels. He dedicated The Glass Key to her, and in turn, she dedicated her novel Lovers Should Marry to Hammett. In 1931, Hammett embarked on a 30-year affair with playwright Lillian Hellman. He wrote his final novel in 1934, and devoted much of the rest of his life to left-wing activism. He was a strong anti-fascist throughout the 1930s and in 1937 he joined the American Communist Party. As a member (and in 1941 president) of the League of American Writers, he served on its Keep America Out of War Committee in January 1940 during the period of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. The League again abruptly shifted its political position, ending its anti-war stance, with the German invasion of the USSR in the summer of 1941.
In early 1942, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hammett again enlisted in the United States Army. He was a disabled veteran of World War I, a victim of tuberculosis, and a Communist, but he pulled strings in order to be admitted. He served as a sergeant in the Aleutian Islands, where he edited an Army newspaper. In 1943, while a member of the military, he had co-authored The Battle of the Aleutians with Cpl. Robert Colodny, under the direction of an Infantry intelligence officer, Major Henry W. Hall. While located in the Aleutians he fell victim to emphysema.

After the war, Hammett returned to political activism, "but he played that role with less fervor than before." He was elected President of the Civil Rights Congress (CRC) on June 5, 1946 at a meeting held at the Hotel Diplomat in New York City, and "devoted the largest portion of his working time to CRC activities." In 1946, a bail fund was created by the CRC "to be used at the discretion of three trustees to gain the release of defendants arrested for political reasons." Those three trustees were Hammett, who was chairman, Robert W. Dunn, and Frederick Vanderbilt Field, "millionaire Communist supporter." On April 3, 1947, the CRC was designated a Communist front group on the Attorney General's List of Subversive Organizations, as directed by U.S. President Harry S. Truman's Executive Order 9835.
he CRC's bail fund gained national attention on November 4, 1949, when bail in the amount of "$260,000 in negotiable government bonds" was posted "to free eleven men appealing their convictions under the Smith Act for criminal conspiracy to teach and advocate the overthrow of the United States government by force and violence." On July 2, 1951, their appeals exhausted, four of the convicted men fled rather than surrender themselves to Federal agents and begin serving their sentences. The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued subpoenas to the trustees of the CRC bail fund in an attempt to learn the whereabouts of the fugitives. Hammett testified on July 9, 1951 in front of United States District Court Judge Sylvester Ryan, facing questioning by Irving Saypol, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, described by Time as "the nation's number one legal hunter of top Communists". During the hearing Hammett refused to provide the information the government wanted, specifically, the list of contributors to the bail fund, "people who might be sympathetic enough to harbor the fugitives." Instead, on every question regarding the CRC or the bail fund, Hammett took the Fifth Amendment, refusing to even identify his signature or initials on CRC documents the government had subpoenaed. As soon as his testimony concluded, Hammett was found guilty of contempt of court. Hammett served time in a West Virginia federal penitentiary where, according to Lillian Hellman, he was assigned to cleaning toilets.
During the 1950s he was investigated by Congress. He testified on March 26, 1953 before the House Committee on Un-American Activities about his own activities, but refused to cooperate with the committee and was blacklisted.

A lifetime of heavy drinking and smoking worsened Hammett's tuberculosis contracted in World War I, and then according to Hellman "jail had made a thin man thinner, a sick man sicker . . . I knew he would now always be sick." He may have meant to start a new literary life with the novel Tulip, but left it unfinished perhaps because he was "just too ill to care, too worn out to listen to plans or read contracts. The fact of breathing, just breathing, took up all the days and nights."

As the years of the 1950s wore on, Hellman says Hammett became "a hermit", his decline evident in the clutter of his rented "ugly little country cottage" where "[t]he signs of sickness were all around: now the phonograph was unplayed, the typewriter untouched, the beloved foolish gadgets unopened in their packages." Hammett no longer could live alone and they both knew it, so the last four years of his life he spent with Hellman. "Not all of that time was easy, and some of it very bad", she wrote but, "guessing death was not too far away, I would try for something to have afterwards." January 10, 1961, Hammett died in New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital, of lung cancer, diagnosed just two months before. As a veteran of two World Wars, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


Disc 1
Campbell Playhouse 390310 The Glass Key
Leo is on the Air - After the Thin Man (1936)
Lux Radio Theater 36-06-08 The Thin Man
Lux Radio Theater 40-06-17 After the Thin Man
Lux Radio Theater 43-02-08 The Maltese Falcon
Mystery Playhouse 44-04-xx The Thin Man - Murder In The Record Shop
Mystery Playhouse 44-10-06 The Thin Man - Nora's Night Out
Samuel Dashiell Hammett Biography
Screen Guild Theater 46-07-22 The Glass Key
Studio One 48-04-13 The Glass Key
Suspense 421222 Two Sharp Knives
Suspense 450607 Two Sharp Knives
Suspense 480110 The Kandy Tooth
The Thin Man 42-xx-xx The Strange Case of Professor Wainger
The Thin Man 43-10-10 The Case of the Wandering Corpse
The Thin Man 44-06-16 The Case of the Glamorous Clue
The Thin Man 44-10-06 Nora's Night Out
The Thin Man 44-12-01 The Case of the All-American Menace
The Thin Man 45-02-09 The Boogie Woogie Murder
The Thin Man 48-07-06 The Adventure of the Passionate Palooka
The Thin Man 48-07-13 The Adventure of the Haunted Hams

Disc 2
The Fat Man (AU) (01) Murder Squares The Triangle
The Fat Man (AU) (02) Murder Plays The Horses
The Fat Man (AU) (03) Murder Sends A Christmas Card
The Fat Man (AU) (04) Murder Runs A Want Ad
The Fat Man (AU) (05) Murder Wears A False Face
The Fat Man (AU) (06) Murder Stalks The Dead
The Fat Man (AU) (11) Murder Through A Crystal
The Fat Man (AU) (12) Murder Makes A Ham
The Fat Man (AU) (15) Murder and The Peacock
The Fat Man (AU) (16) Murder and The Undertaker
The Fat Man (AU) (17) Murder Seeks a Lost Penny
The Fat Man (AU) (18) Murder Makes a Statue
The Fat Man (AU) (21) Murder Rings A Bell
The Fat Man (AU) (22) Murder Repeats Itself
The Fat Man (AU) (23) Murder Rides A Wheelchair
The Fat Man (AU) (24) Murder Finds A Coffin
The Fat Man (AU) (25) Murder For Sale
The Fat Man (AU) (26) Murder By Mail
The Fat Man (AU) (29) Murder Shows An Unfamiliar Face
The Fat Man (AU) (30) Murder Makes a Kings Coffin
The Fat Man (AU) (33) Murder Makes a Black Moon
The Fat Man (AU) (34) Murder Shows A Phantom Face
The Fat Man (AU) (35) Murder Makes a Silent Partner
The Fat Man (AU) (36) Murder Makes Music
The Fat Man (AU) (37) Murder Writes A Story
The Fat Man (AU) (38) Murder Meets an Uncertain Lady
The Fat Man (AU) (39) Murder Shows A Card
The Fat Man (AU) (40) Murder Makes a Pay Off
The Fat Man (AU) (45) Murder In The Dark
The Fat Man (AU) (46) Murder Shows Eyes In The Dark (1)
The Fat Man (AU) (46) Murder Shows Eyes In The Dark (2)
The Fat Man (AU) (47) Murder Makes a Broken Heart
The Fat Man (AU) (48) Murder Pays Dividends
The Fat Man (AU) (49) Murder Appears Out Of The Past
The Fat Man (AU) (50) Murder Made Stylish
The Fat Man (AU) (51) Murder Takes A Picture
The Fat Man (AU) (52) Murder is Forecast
The Fat Man 46-01-21 (001) The 19th Pearl
The Fat Man 46-02-11 (004) The Twice Told Secret
The Fat Man 46-07-08 (025) The Black Angel
The Fat Man 46-09-09 (034) The Crooked Horse
The Fat Man 47-00-00 (xxx) Murder Plays Hide and Seek
The Fat Man 47-10-03 (090) A Window For Murder
The Fat Man 48-04-09 (117) Murder Rents A Flat
The Fat Man 49-04-01 (168) Murder Wins The Draw
The Fat Man 49-07-22 (184) Murder is the Medium
The Fat Man 51-01-17 (253) The Nightmare Murder
The Fat Man 51-05-23 (271) Order For Murder

The Adventures Of Sam Spade Intro
Howard Duff Biography
Lurene Tuttle Biography
Burns & Allen 49-02-10 Sam Spade
SamSpade 46-08-02 (004) Sam & Psyche (ABC)
SamSpade 47-02-02 (032) The Dead Duck Caper
SamSpade 47-06-08 (050) The Calcutta Trunk Caper(CBS)(AFRS)
SamSpade 47-06-15 (051) The Convertible Caper (CBS)(AFRS)
SamSpade 47-10-05 (067) The Adam Figg Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 47-11-09 (072) The Bow Window Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-01-04 (080) The One Hour Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-01-25 (083) The Gold Key Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-06-20 (104) The Death Bed Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-06-27 (105) The Bail Bond Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-07-04 (106) The Rushlight Diamond Caper( CBS)
SamSpade 48-07-11 (107)The Wheel Of Life Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-07-18 (108) The Missing Newshawk Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-07-25 (109) The Mad Scientist Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-08-01 (110) The Dry Martini Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-08-08 (111) The Blue Beard Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-08-15 (112) The Critical Author Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-08-22 (113) The Vaphio Cup Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-08-29 (114) The Lawless Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-09-12 (116) The Lazarus Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-09-19 (117) The Hot 100 Grand Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-09-26 (118) The Dick Foley Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-10-03 (119) The Sugar Kane Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-10-24 (122) The Insomnia Caper (CBS)(AFRS)
SamSpade 48-10-31 (123) The Fairly-Bright Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 48-11-07 (124) The SQP Caper (CBS)(AFRS)
SamSpade 48-11-28 (127) The Quarter-Eagle Caper (CBS)(AFRS)
SamSpade 48-12-12 (129) The Bouncing Betty Caper (CBS)(AFRS)
SamSpade 49-01-16 (134) The Betrayal In Bumpass Hell Caper (CBS)(AFRS)
SamSpade 49-03-27 (144) The Love Letter Caper (CBS)(AFRS)
SamSpade 49-04-10 (146) The Stopped Watch Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 49-04-17 (147) Edith Hamilton (CBS)(AFRS)
SamSpade 49-05-01 (149) The Battles Of Belvedere (CBS)(AFRS)
SamSpade 49-05-21 (xxx) The Red Ampola Caper (rehearsal)
SamSpade 49-05-28 (xxx) The Honest Thief Caper (rehearsal)
SamSpade 49-06-05 (154) The Overjord Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 49-06-19 (156) The Apple Of Eve Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 49-07-10 (159) The Queen Bee Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 49-07-17 (160) The Cuttyhunt Caper-1st Half Only.wav
SamSpade 49-07-24 (161) The Tears Of Night Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 49-08-07 (163) The Champion Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 49-08-28 (166) The Prodigal Daughter Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 49-09-25 (170) The Indian Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 49-11-06 (176) The Cheesecake Caper (NBC)(AFRS)
SamSpade 49-12-04 (180) The Flopsy Mopsy & Cottontail Caper (CBS)
SamSpade 50-05-13 (xxx) The Honest Thief Caper (rehearsal)
SamSpade 50-05-18 (xxx) The Red Amapola Caper (NBC)(rehearsal)
SamSpade 50-05-23 (xxx) The Honest Thief Caper (NBC)(rehearsal)
SamSpade 50-09-03 (219) The Farmer's Daughter Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 50-11-17 (222) The Caper Over My Dead Body (NBC)
SamSpade 50-11-24 (223) The Terrified Turkey Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 50-12-01 (224) The Dog Bed Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 50-12-08 (225) The Dry Gulch Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 50-12-15 (226) The 25-12345679 Caper(NBC)
SamSpade 50-12-29 (228) The Prodigal Panda Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-01-05 (229) The Biddle Riddle Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-01-12 (230) The Red Star Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-01-19 (231) The Cloak & Dagger Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-01-26 (232) The Chateau McCloud Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-02-02 (233) The String Of Death Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-02-09 (234) The Sure Thing Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-02-16 (235) The Soap Opera Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-02-23 (236) The Shot In The Dark Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-03-02 (237) The Crab Louis Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-03-09 (238) The Spanish Prisoner Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-03-16 (239) The Sinister Siren Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-03-23 (240) The Kimberley Cross Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-03-30 (241) The Vendetta Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-04-06 (242) The Denny Shane Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-04-13 (243) The Civic Pride Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-04-20 (244) The Rowdy Dowser Caper (NBC)
SamSpade 51-04-27 (245) The Hail & Farewell Caper (NBC)
Suspense 46-12-05 (Sam Spade) The House In Cypress Canyon
Suspense 48-01-10 (Sam Spade) The Kandi Tooth
The First Nighter Program - Sam Spade Spoof






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