Elmore Leonard, the legendary and iconic novelist who penned more books that have been adapted into movies than you can count, has died at the age of 87. Leonard was recovering from a stroke he suffered three weeks ago when he passed away Tuesday in his hometown of Detroit.
The Detroit News was one of the first media outlets to report Leonard’s death.
Elmore Leonard, one of America’s greatest crime novelists and dubbed the “Dickens of Detroit” has died, his longtime researcher Gregg Sutter confirmed. He was 87. Surrounded by family, Leonard died at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday at his Bloomfield Village home from complications of a stroke. He had been hospitalized since suffering the stroke in early August.
While not everyone may be familiar with Leonard’s novels, audiences everywhere have most likely seen one or two of his stories adapted on the big screen. Most recently, Leonard’s work has shown up on the FX show Justified and his novel Rum Punch was the source material for the 1997 Quentin Tarantino Jackie Brown.
In fact, Tarantino — who is one of today’s most well-known and talented writers– cites Leonard as his inspiration for becoming a writer, going as far as to state he wants to retire from movies one day to write novels like Leonard did.
Leonard’s hit novel Get Shorty was adapted into a hit movie directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and the success led Leonard to pen a followup Be Cool. Westerns that Leonard has written like 3:10 to Yuma have been adapted more than once into classic films and his impression on the movie world is one that won’t soon be forgotten.