Mickey Spillane Dead at 88
What else can you add to the headline except that a crime writing legend has passed on? And so, I’ll repost the obit printed in today’s Myrtle Beach Sun:
Legendary mystery novelist and local resident Frank “Mickey” Spillane died Monday at his Murrells Inlet home. He was 88.
Spillane is best known for his chain-smoking, sharp-shooting,
womanizing detective character Mike Hammer. Spillane introduced Hammer
in 1947 in “I, the Jury,” his first detective novel.
Spillane was born March 9, 1918, in Brooklyn, N.Y. He
discovered Murrells Inlet during World War II, when he was an Army Air
Force flying instructor at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.
Perhaps because of his experience with the Sun Fun Festival,
Spillane liked to be involved in
community affairs, especially in
He was the informal host of
the old Murrells Inlet Arts and
Crafts Festival that ran in the
village from 1972 to 1985. He
walked around the festival
greeting people, signing autographs, hugging fans and
having his picture taken with
In 1986, he agreed to requests
from boosters looking for a new
way to bring in tourists to
spearhead Mickey Spillane’s
Fishing Festival and Tournament.
The event appealed to his
own love of the water and fishing. The festival lasted only a
few years, blown away by
Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
The hurricane also blew away
his beloved creek house that he
bought sight unseen in the 1950s
when he was looking for property in the area.
Spillane built a grander
house, a stronger one, in the
same spot at Jordan’s Landing
on the inlet. But he lost forever
his collection of first editions of
his books in many languages,
along with posters of the films
made from many of the books.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Goldfinch Funeral Home, Beach Chapel.
There will be extensive coverage in tomorrow’s Sun (with a guestbook for condolences) and here on the blog as well. The backblog’s open too for anyone wanting to share thoughts, memories and anecdotes.