General News

Elmore Leonard dead at 87

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Aug 20, 2013 | 10:43am EDT

Author Elmore Leonard has died at the age of 87, three weeks after suffering a stroke. The prolific writer, who penned the stories that inspired hit films Get Shorty, Out of Sight and Jackie Brown, was admitted to a hospital in Detroit, Michigan earlier this month (Aug13), and he died on Tuesday (20Aug13). A post on his official website on Tuesday states, "Elmore passed away this morning at 7:15 AM at home surrounded by his loving family. More to follow." Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1925, Leonard joined the U.S. Navy as a teenager during World War II, and after the conflict ended he enrolled at the University of Detroit, where he honed his hobby of short story writing. His first published work was 1951's Trail of the Apaches, and Leonard gained a reputation as a writer of Westerns throughout the 1950s and '60s, several of which were used as the basis for Hollywood movies, including 3:10 to Yuma. Leonard eventually expanded his repertoire to include crime and mystery novels, and also developed his skills as a screenwriter. His reliance on realistic dialogue and healthy disregard for the rules of grammar drew comparisons to the works of Ernest Hemingway, and he counted a number of famous fans including horror author Stephen King, who once branded Leonard "the great American writer." Almost 30 of Leonard's novels and short stories were adapted for film and TV, including 19 movies.

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