What Are the Names of Some Famous Detectives?


Quick Answer

Allan Pinkerton was the founder of the first detective agency in the United States, and not only caught famous criminals, but was involved in guarding President Lincoln and spying for the Union during the Civil War, notes the Public Broadcasting Service. Sherlock Holmes is a famous fictional detective created by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887, states About.com.

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Allan Pinkerton was born in Scotland and emigrated to the United States in 1842, notes the Public Broadcasting Service. Mr. Pinkerton turned in a group of counterfeiters in Chicago, became a deputy sheriff, worked as a special agent for the U.S. Post Office, then founded Pinkerton's National Detective Agency around 1850. The company had an unblinking eye as part of its symbol, which led to detectives being called private eyes. Allan Pinkerton passed away in 1884, but the detective agency is still in operation, as of 2015.

Following an 1887 magazine article, Arthur Conan Doyle published the first book about the famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, his assistant Watson, and his use of deductive reasoning in 1888, according to About.com. The Sherlock Holmes mysteries were very popular in both Europe and the United States, and while the author had at one point killed off the character, public opinion led him to bring back Sherlock Holmes.

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