When father switched political parties, family forced to move from Maryland farm; briefly lived in Philadelphia before settling in Baltimore (date approximate)
Accepted work at the local branch of the Pinkerton Detective Agency in Baltimore
While employed by Pinkerton, traveled the USA on jobs
Enlisted in the Army during WWI; contracted tuberculosis and discharged on a disability pension
Returned to work at Pinkerton; eventually sent to Spokane, Washington in 1920
TB flared up again; hospitalized at the Cushman Institute in Tacoma, Washington
Settled in San Francisco
Because of recurring health problems, quit job as a Pinkerton detective
Published "Arson Plus", the first Continental Op story in <i>Black Mask</i>; used pseudonym Peter Collinson
Began writing advertising copy
Published first novel "Red Harvest"; had originally been serialized in <i>Black Mask</i>
First feature adapted from one of his novels, "Roadhouse Nights", based on "Red Harvest"
Contracted by Paramount to write original stories; first produced one was "City Streets"
First screen version of "The Maltese Falcon" produced at Warner Bros.
Published last novel, "The Thin Man"; four years later sold all rights to the characters for $40,000
Hired by William Randolph Hearst's King Features Syndicate to pen dialogue for the comic strip "Dashiell Hammett's Secret Agent X-9"; deal lasted only one year
MGM produced sparkling adaptation of "The Thin Man"
John Huston adapted and directed the now classic version of "The Maltese Falcon"
Enlisted in the US Army; posted to the Aleutian Islands in 1943; produced newspaper <i>The Arkadian</i>
Sole produced screenplay, an adaptation of Lillian Hellman's play, "Watch on the Rhine"
Taught creative writing at the Jefferson School of Social Science
Named as a communist before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and subsequently jailed for six months for his refusal to cooperate
Suffered first heart attack
NBC TV series adaptation of "The Thin Man" produced
Portrayed by Jason Robards in an Oscar-winning turn in "Julia", adapted from parts of Lillian Hellman's book "Pentimento"
Wim Wenders directed "Hammett", a fictionalized hommage to the writer, starring Frederic Forrest
Forrest once again portrayed the writer in the HBO drama "Citizen Cohn"
Portrayed by playwright and actor Sam Shepard in the A&E biopic "Dash and Lilly"