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Ross Macdonald
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    (December 13, 1915-July 11, 1983)
    Born in Las Gatos, California
    Birth name was Kenneth Millar
    Created the private detective Lew Archer
    Wrote the novels 'The Moving Target' (1949), 'The Drowning Pool' (1950), 'The Way Some People Die' (1951), 'The Doomsters' (1958), 'The Galton Case' (1959), 'The Zebra-Striped Hearse' (1962), 'Black Money' (1966), 'Sleeping Beauty ' (1973) and 'The Blue Hammer' (1976)
    As a teen, he was a heavy drinker, a street fighter and a petty thief.
    He used a pseudonym while writing mysteries so he could save his real name for 'serious' fiction (which he never got around to writing).
    He originally called himself John Ross Macdonald until fellow mystery author John D. MacDonald complained.
    Raymond Chandler complained about his 'pretentiousness' and called him a 'literary eunuch.'
    His father abandoned the family.
    He shuttled between various relatives growing up, and estimated he had lived at 50 different addresses before he was 16.
    He added psychological depth to the hard-boiled detective genre.
    Writing in the New York Times, William Goldman called the Lew Archer stories 'the finest series of detective novels ever written by an American.'
    Sue Grafton wrote, 'If Dashiell Hammett can be said to have injected the hard-boiled detective novel with its primitive force, and Raymond Chandler gave shape to its prevailing tone, it was Ken Millar, writing as Ross Macdonald, who gave the genre its current respectability.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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