Author: W.R. Burnett
Born: Nov 25, 1899 Springfield, OH
Passed: Apr 25, 1982 Santa Monica, CA
Film: Little Caesar
William Riley Burnett (November 25, 1899 - April 25, 1982), often credited as W. R. Burnett, was an American novelist and screenwriter. He is best known for the crime novel, Little Caesar, whose film adaptation is considered the first of the classic American gangster movies.
Burnett was born in Springfield, Ohio, U.S. He left his civil service job there to move to Chicago when he was 28, by which time he had written over a hundred short stories and five novels, all unpublished.
In Chicago he found a job as a night clerk in a seedy hotel. Suddenly Burnett found himself associating with a cornucopia of characters straight from the mean streets: prize fighters, hoodlums, hustlers, and hobos. They inspired Little Caesar (novel 1929, film 1931). Its overnight success landed him a job as a Hollywood screenwriter. Little Caesar became a classic movie, produced by First National Pictures (Warner Brothers) and starring the then-unknown Edward G. Robinson. The Al Capone theme was one he returned to in 1932 with Scarface. In addition to this, Burnett had won the 1930 O. Henry Award for his short story "Dressing-Up" published in Harper's Magazine in November 1929.
Burnett's characters exist in a world of twilight morality ? virtue can come from gangsters and criminals, malice from guardians and protectors. Above all, all of his characters are human, and this could be their undoing. In High Sierra (1941), Humphrey Bogart plays Roy Earle, a hard-bitten criminal who rejects his life of crime to help a crippled girl. In The Asphalt Jungle (1949), the most perfectly masterminded plot falls apart as each character reveals a weakness. In The Beast of the City (1932), the police take the law into their own hands when the criminals walk free on a legal loophole, presaging Dirty Harry by almost 40 years.
Burnett worked with many of the greats in acting and directing, including Raoul Walsh, John Huston, John Ford, Howard Hawks, Nicholas Ray, Douglas Sirk, and Michael Cimino, John Wayne (The Dark Command), Humphrey Bogart, Ida Lupino, Paul Muni, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood. He received Oscar nominations for his scripts for Wake Island (1942) and The Great Escape. In addition to his film work he also wrote scripts for television and radio. 
There is no entry about the novel available on Wikipedia at this time, but here is a link to the film entry.Read film information at Wikipedia
Featured Cast (Names and Roles) of the Film Little Caesar: