Vera Caspary was born in Chicago, the youngest of four children in a Russian-German Jewish immigrant family. After her high school graduation in 1917, her father enrolled her in a six-month course in a business college. Subsequently, she began working as a stenographer and held a series of menial office jobs, producing articles for magazines in her spare time. By 1927, she had become a full-time freelance writer. She was a prolific Hollywood screenwriter and also published about 20 novels. Vera Caspary was an independent woman, a professional success, able to support her widowed mother, at a time when few American women had their own careers. In 1949, she married one of her writing collaborators, Isidor "I.G." Goldsmith, a film producer born in Vienna. The couple split their time between Hollywood and Europe until his death in 1964. In her best-known work, Laura, first written as a novel and later made into a classic film, Caspary crafted an intricate mystery plot involving complex characters that might well be considered the first psychothriller.