Elmore Leonard (1925-2013)

Mystery Grand Master Elmore Leonard, 87,  died August 20, 2013 at home in Bloomfield Hills, near Detroit MI, three weeks after suffering a stroke.

Leonard was famous for his often darkly comic crime novels and revered by writers for his realistic and witty dialogue and his famous “Ten Rules of Writing”. He occasionally wrote work with speculative elements, notably Touch (1987), about a man with the power to heal, and YA animal fantasy A Coyote’s in the House (2004).

Leonard began publishing with several well-regarded Westerns, starting with The Bounty Hunters (1953), and switched mainly to crime with The Big Bounce (1959). His breakthrough novel was 1985’s Glitz, after which his books reliably hit bestseller lists. Over 25 of his books were made into films or TV shows, notably Rum Punch (1992), which inspired the Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown (1997); Get Shorty (1990); and Out of Sight (1996). The latter, about US Marshal Karen Sisco, also spawned TV show Karen Sisco (2003). His novels and stories about laconic Marshal Raylan Givens inspired ongoing TV series Justified (2010-present). Leonard was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1992. He received a National Book Award Medal for Distinguished Contribution in 2012.

Elmore John Leonard, Jr. was born October 11, 1925 in New Orleans LA. He attended the University of Detroit, graduating with an English degree in 1950. Leonard worked in advertising and wrote educational and industrial films before becoming a full-time writer in 1967. He is survived by third wife Christine Kent, five children from his second marriage, 12 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.