Raymond Chandler, long a top talent in that exclusive limb of literature, the mystery writers, died at La Jolla yesterday of bronchial pneumonia.
The 70-year-old author was one of a small core of novelists to introduce tough, flamboyant private detectives as their principal characters.
His was named Philip Marlowe.
A list of Chandler's bestselling books reads like a Who's Who of whodunits—"The Big Sleep," "Farewell, My Lovely," "The Lady in the Lake," "The Little Sister," "The Long Goodbye" and "Playback."
Raymond Thornton Chandler was born in Chicago. He was educated in private schools in France and Germany and at Dulwich College in London. After serving with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and the Royal Air Force in World War I, he was an executive with an independent oil company in Los Angeles until the depression cost him his job and he turned to fiction writing in 1933.
The writer had lived in La Jolla for more than 10 years. His wife, the former Pearl Hurlburg, whom he married in 1924, died there in 1955.