Elmore Leonard has died, aged 87. He had been hospitalized since suffering a stroke in early August.
Writing on the author’s Facebook page, Gregg Sutter, Leonard’s researcher and webmaster said, “The post I dreaded to write, and you dreaded to read. Elmore passed away at 7:15 this morning from complications from his stroke. He was at home surrounded by his loving family.”
Leonard was born on October 11, 1925 in New Orleans. His novels included Get Shorty, Out Of Sight and Rum Punch, which was filmed by Quentin Tarantino as Jackie Brown. His novels Pronto and Riding The Rap and a short story, Fire In The Hole, formed the basis for the TV series, Justified.
Leonard’s family moved to Detroit when he was 9 years old; he stayed there for the rest of his life earning the epithet, “the Dickens of Detroit”. He began writing Westerns in the early morning, before heading off to work in advertising. Throughout his career, Leonard wrote in longhand on unlined legal pads: later, he would use 1,000 pads a year. Leonard’s first success came in 1951 with the publication of a short story “Trail Of The Apaches”. He had his first novel, The Bounty Hunters, published in 1953, and his first crime novel, The Big Bounce, in 1969.
In total, 26 of Leonard’s novels and short stories have been adapted for the screen. According to Sutter, Leonard was working on his 46th novel.
You can read our full tribute to Elmore Leonard here.
Photo credit Rex/Everett Collection