Carroll John Daly (September 14, 1889 – January 16, 1958) was a writer of crime fiction. He has been credited with creating the first hard-boiled story, "The False Burton Combs," published in Black Mask magazine in December 1922, followed closely by "It's All in the Game" (Black Mask, April 1923) and the PI story "Three Gun Terry" (Black Mask, May 1923). Daly's private detective Race Williams first appeared in "Knights of the Open Palm," published June 1, 1923, in Black Mask and predating the October 1923 debut of Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op character. During that era, Daly was considered the leader of the naturalistic school of crime writers. Daly's Williams was a rough-and-ready character with a sharp tongue and established the model for many later acerbic private eyes.