Elmore Leonard Dead at 87: Crime Novelist Wrote Get Shorty, Out of Sight

Celebrity News Aug. 20, 2013 AT 11:00AM
Writer Elmore Leonard on June 10, 2010 Legendary crime writer Elmore Leonard died following complications from a stroke on Tuesday, Aug. 20. Credit: Vera Anderson/WireImage.com

Elmore Leonard, the legendary author behind such books-turned-films as Out of Sight, Get Shorty and 3:10 to Yuma, died at his home in Detroit on Tuesday, Aug. 20, following complications from a stroke. He was 87.

His longtime researcher and friend Gregg Sutter announced the news on Twitter and Facebook early Tuesday morning.

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"The post I dreaded to write, and you dreaded to read," he wrote on Leonard's official Facebook page. "Elmore passed away at 7:15 this morning from complications from his stroke. He was at home surrounded by his loving family."

The revered crime novelist's stories were often optioned into Hollywood hits, including Quentin Tarantino's adaptation of his novel Rum Punch, which he turned into 1997's Blaxploitation-style film Jackie Brown, Barry Sonnenfeld's 1995 cult comedy Get Shorty, starring John Travolta, and 1998's Out of Sight, starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez.

His novel The Switch was recently adapted for film by Daniel Schechter and will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival as Life Of Crime, starring Jennifer Aniston, Isla Fisher, Tim RobbinsJohn Hawkes, Will Forte and more.

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In 2012, Leonard was honored as a National Book Award lifetime achievement recipient, but the author told the Associated Press that he wasn't anywhere near done with his life's work.

"I probably won't quit until I just quit everything -- I quit my life -- because it's all I know how to do," he said at the time. "And it's fun. I do have fun writing, and a long time ago, I told myself, 'You got to have fun at this, or it'll drive you nuts.'"

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Leonard is survived by his five children, including son Peter, who followed in his father's writer footsteps and is the author of 2008 crime novel Quiver.

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