Archive | January, 1984

Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer

On March 9, 1918, in Brooklyn, New York, Frank Spillane was born to his parents Anne and John Spillane. Shortly afterwards, he was baptized with the middle name Michael in the Catholic church of his father. Later, he was also christened with the middle name Morrisonin the Protestant church of his mother, the name by which his teachers at school would address him. Both his parents had nicknames for him, but it was his father’s which would endure; Mickey. His father worked as a bartender in a rough New Jersey neighborhood while young Mickey went to school. He was an athletic youth, excelling in football and swimming. But sports were not the only area he excelled in. It was during his high school years that he began his writing career, with his first piece being published shortly after graduation. Early in his career, he would often have his work published under pseudonyms,Frank Morrison being one of them.


After high school, he studied briefly at Kansas State Teachers College, though he ended up spending most of his time there playing football. When he left Kansas State, he returned to New York. He went to work at Gimbel’s ( Gimbel of Saks 5th Avenue fame ) but soon got bored and decided to try something different. That something was comic book writing. However, before he could pursue his career any further, World War II broke out. Mickey enlisted in the Air Forceshortly afterwards. His superiors soon took notice of the promising young man and promoted him to fighter pilot instructor, effectively keeping him stateside and out of the action. As fate would have it, it was while stationed in Greenwood, Mississippi that he met Mary Ann Pierce, who, in 1945, became his first wife. They later had four children, Kathy, Ward, Michael and Caroline.

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