Today, dear fans of classic radio, we blow out the candles and celebrate the birthday of author Dashiell Hammett , born this day in 1894. The debonair writer gave us The Thin Man , The Maltese Falcon , and Red Harvest. These works were, yes, adapted into fine radio broadcasts. You may know that Hammett learned about the life of a gum-shoe detective by being one himself. He was employed by the Pinkerton agency from 1915-21, an experience that caused him great moral dilemmas and had a profound effect on him. It also had an effect on American letters, giving us the immortal character Sam Spade . You may recall the great radio series based on the Maltese Falcon protagonist, The Adventures of Sam Spade . Produced by William Spier and starring, first, Howard Duffe, and later, Steve Dunne, the great radio program ran from 1946-1951. Without the mind who birthed the words on the page, we wouldn't have these wonderful programs, so we salute Dashiell Hammett !