It's the birthday of the crime writer Dennis Lehane, (books by this author) born in Dorchester, Massachusetts (1965). He grew up in a poor Irish neighborhood in Boston that he once described as "[a place] cramped with corner stores, small playgrounds, and butcher shops ... [where] days, the mothers searched the papers for coupons. Nights, the fathers went to bars. You knew everyone; nobody ever left."
Lehane was one of the few kids from the neighborhood who went to college. He got a master's degree in a creative writing program, and moved back to Boston, where he took a job as a valet in a parking garage. He started writing detective novels, the first of which came out in 1994: A Drink before the War. He supported himself as a chauffeur, and wrote most of his next two books on a yellow legal pad while sitting in the front seat of a limousine. The fifth book in the series, Prayers for Rain, was successful enough that Lehane was able to quit his job and write full time.