|One of the best-selling authors of all time, Mickey Spillane was born Frank Morrison Spillane in 1918 in Brooklyn to an Irish bartender and his Scottish wife, and grew up in New Jersey. He could be considered the king of pulp fiction. Prolific, uncompromising, and unapologetic, Spillane was criticized by Ernest Hemingway and praised by Ayn Rand. But critical acclaim meant little to this author, who judged his success based on the heights his bank account reached. Despite this proclaimed indifference, Spillane was an important figure in American writing, particularly given the sustained interest readers have in hard-boiled, pulpy detective fiction. ||Before committing to a writing career, Spillane worked as a salesman and reportedly as a circus trampoline artist. His first book, I, THE JURY (1947), introduced his enduring tough-guy private detective, Mike Hammer. Originally imagined as a comic book character, Hammer is an angry ex-Marine and misogynist who carries a Colt .45 nicknamed Betsy and practices vigilante-style justice. Hammer became the star of the novels, a TV series, films, and commercials--in fact, Spillane himself played Hammer in the flick THE GIRL HUNTERS and in many a beer commercial.||Having lived for many years--and with several wives--on the South Carolina coast, Spillane died of cancer in 2006.