Snow in August


The eldest of seven children of Catholic immigrants from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Pete Hamill was born in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn.[2] His father, Billy Hamill, lost a leg as the result of an injury in a semi-pro soccer game in Brooklyn.[3] Hamill's mother, Anne Devlin, a high school graduate in Belfast, arrived in New York on the day the stock market crashed in 1929.[4] Billy Hamill met Anne Devlin in 1933 and they married the following year.[5] Billy Hamill had jobs as a grocery clerk, in a war plant, and later in a factory producing lighting fixtures. Anne Hamill was employed in Wanamaker's department store, and also worked as a domestic, a nurses' aide, and a cashier in the RKO movie chain.[6] His brother Denis would also grow up to become an award-winning columnist for the Daily News.[7]

Hamill attended Holy Name of Jesus grammar school[8] and delivered the Brooklyn Daily Eagle when he was 11.[9] In 1949, Hamill attended the prestigious Regis High School in Manhattan, but left school when he was 15 to work as an apprentice sheet metal worker in the Brooklyn Navy Yard; 59 years later, in June 2010, Regis awarded him an honorary diploma.[10] Inspired especially by the work of Milton Caniff, he was set on becoming a comic book artist.[11] Hamill attended night classes at the School of Visual Arts (then called the Cartoonists and Illustrators School),[12] with the goal of becoming a painter.[13] In the fall of 1952, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After his discharge, in 1956-57, he was a student at Mexico City College on the G.I. Bill.[14] Hamill has also lived in Spain, Ireland, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Rome, Los Angeles, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A friend of Robert F. Kennedy, Hamill helped persuade the senator to run for the United States presidency, then worked for the campaign and covered it as a journalist. He was one of four men who disarmed Sirhan Sirhan of his gun in the aftermath of the Robert F. Kennedy assassination.[15]

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