Crime Writer Elmore Leonard Dead at 87

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 20 2013 10:07 AM

Crime Writer Elmore Leonard Dead at 87

Author Elmore Leonard poses during a portrait session prior to a reading and signing of his latest novel 'Up In Honey's Room' on May 24, 2007 at Book Soup in Los Angeles, California

Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Elmore Leonard, the prolific American crime writer whose work was adapted for the big and small screens with remarkable success, died this morning, according a post on his website. He was 87.

Leonard suffered a stroke late last month and had been recovering in a Detroit-area hospital, his research assistant told the Detroit News earlier this month. At the time, those close to him were hopeful that he would recover. "He’s showing great spirit," Gregg Sutter, the assistant, told the paper then. "He’s a fighter, and we’re glad to see that"


Leonard was said to be in the middle of his 46th novel when he was admitted to the hospital. This past November he was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution from the National Book Foundation. He began publishing novels and short stories in the early 1950s and kept at it until the end. His most well-known works of fiction were probably: Get Shorty, which was turned later turned into a film with the same name starring John Travolta and Danny DeVito; Rum Punch, which became the basis for Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown; and Out of Sight, which would become a Steven Soderbergh movie starring George Clooney.

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 8:15 AM Ted Cruz Will Not Join a Protest of "The Death of Klinghoffer" After All
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 9:03 AM My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. And Then I Found Myself With Someone Like Dad.
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 8:27 AM Only Science Fiction Can Save Us! What sci-fi gets wrong about income inequality.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 7:30 AM Ring Around the Rainbow
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.