A Los Angeles article surprised me http://graphics.latimes.com/finding-marlowe/ That states that Raymond Chandler and Dashel Hammet's Characters Sam Spade and Philip Marlow are based on an African American Private Investigator Samuel Marlow. The article shows the letters between the writers and the PI.
I just love stories like this. Glimpses behind the writing process. I love both of these authors and have been influenced by them. So basically a black Jamaican born Private Detective from the 30's is influencing my writing today.