(born July 23, 1888, Chicago, Ill., U.S.—died March 26, 1959, La Jolla, Calif.) U.S. writer of detective fiction. Chandler worked as an oil-company executive in California before turning to writing during the Great Depression. Early short stories were followed by screenplays, including Double Indemnity (1944), The Blue Dahlia (1946), and Strangers on a Train (1951). His character Philip Marlowe, a hard-boiled private detective working in the Los Angeles underworld, appears in all seven of his novels, including The Big Sleep (1939; film, 1946 and 1978), Farewell, My Lovely (1940; film Murder, My Sweet, 1944, and Farewell, My Lovely, 1975), and The Long Good-Bye (1953; film, 1973). Chandler and Dashiell Hammett are regarded as the classic authors of the hard-boiled genre.
Learn more about Chandler, Raymond (Thornton) with a free trial on Britannica.com.
Chandler is a surname, derived from the profession. A chandler is someone who makes or sells candles and/or soap.