Novelist Elmore Leonard has died. He passed away in his home in the Detroit area. He was 87 years old. According to the author’s website, “Elmore passed away this morning at 7:15 AM at home surrounded by his loving family.” The author had suffered from a stroke last month.
Leonard was the author of 45 novels and dozens of short stories, many of which had been turned into films including: Out of Sight, Hombre, Get Shorty, Pronto, Desperado, 3:10 to Yuma and Freaky Deaky. He was reportedly working on his 46th novel at the time of his passing.
Leonard was born in New Orleans in 1925, and showed an interest in fiction writing from the fifth grade. He attended the University of Detroit and majored in English and Philosophy. He began his professional writing career in advertising working as a copywriter for Campbell Ewald. He wrote westerns on the side which he sold to pulp magazines. In the 1950s he wrote five western novels and 30 short stories, but still had to take freelance advertising jobs to support his family. In 1967, his novel Hombre was turned into a hit film starring Paul Newman.He went on to write dozens of crime novels.
Last year, The National Book Foundation honored the crime writer with the 2012 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.