Author Elmore Leonard has passed away at the age of 87 early this morning at his Bloomfield Village home outside of Detroit. Here's the brief statement from the writer's official Facebook page, which is run by his researcher and webmaster Gregg Sutter.
"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. More to follow."
The author had been hospitalized for a stroke earlier this month, but he was still working on what would have been his 46th novel, Blue Dreams, at the time of his death. Here's what his son Peter Leonard had to say about how excited his father was about the story, which would have included one of his many famous characters, Raylan Givens from Justified.
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"He was pretty excited about it. He came over three times for dinner the week before the stroke, he was telling me about the story: how he had changed it, how he was going to bring the character Raylan Givens into it. We would tell each other what we'd worked on that day. I will miss that, and him."
Elmore Leonard started out in advertising in the 1950s after graduating from the University of Michigan, writing Western novels on the side. After he quite the trade, he wrote from 10 AM to 6 PM everyday without ever stopping to take a break.
Several of his novels were adapted for movies and television including the original 3:10 to Yuma in 1957 and the 2007 3:10 to Yuma remake, Get Shorty, the sequel Be Cool, Jackie Brown (from the novel "Rum Punch"), and many, many more. His novella "Fire in the Hole" featuring Raylan Givens was adapted into the hit FX series Justified, starring Timothy Olyphant, which starts its fifth season next year.
Elmore Leonard is survived by his children Jane Jones, Peter Leonard, Chris Leonard, Bill Leonard and Kate Dudley, 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.