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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died in La Jolla, California, USA  (lung cancer)
Birth NameJonathan Wyatt Latimer

Mini Bio (1)

American writer of thrillers and film scripts, the son of a Chicago lawyer and a violinist. He was named 'Jonathan' after a famous ancestor who had served as a colonel on George Washington's staff during the American Revolutionary War. Latimer was a graduate of Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Following travels in Europe, he began his writing career as a journalist for the Chicago Herald Examiner and the Chicago Tribune (1929-34), reporting on the activities of organised crime figures in his home town. That included meeting the likes of Al Capone and George Moran (aka 'Bugs') on their own turf!

From 1935, Latimer penned a series of hard-boiled crime novels published by 'The Crime Club' and usually featuring the dissolute private eye Bill Crane. These books were somewhat in the vein of Dashiell Hammett (by whom he was heavily influenced) and Raymond Chandler (whom he later befriended), with a suitably cynical but at times bawdily humorous, or self-mocking edge. He sometimes wrote under the pseudonym 'Peter Coffin' ("The Search for My Great Uncle's Head" (1937)). Latimer worked in Hollywood from the late 1930's, where he was at his best providing gritty dialogue for the film noir genre, notably Hammett's The Glass Key (1942), They Won't Believe Me (1947) and The Big Clock (1948).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (2)

Jo Ann Hanzlik (18 December 1954 - 23 June 1983) ( his death)
Ellen Baxter Peabody (11 December 1937 - 1954) ( divorced) ( 3 children)

Trivia (1)

Before screen writing was a pulp novelist.

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

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