Samuel Dashiell Hammett was born in St Mary's County, Maryland, on 27 May 1894, to southern Catholic parents, Richard Thomas Hammett and Anne Bond (“Dashiell” was a version of De Chiel, a family name on his mother's side). Raised in Philadelphia and Baltimore, he attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, but dropped out in 1908, soon after starting his first year of high school, since the family, because his father's ill health, depended on him for income. His jobs were numerous and low-paying, many of them with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O): from the age of thirteen, he worked, amongst other things, as newsboy, messenger boy, freight clerk, timekeeper, stevedore, railroad labourer, nail-machine operator in a box factory and …
Horsley, Lee. "Dashiell Hammett". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2001; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1962, accessed 21 April 2015.]