Elmore Leonard (October 11, 1925 – August 20, 2013) was a prolific writer who lived a life spanning all of eighty-seven years and has achieved several notable feats. Here are 10 facts about this genius to honor his memory and his legacy which will live on in and among us.
1. Elmore Leonard published his first novel “The Bounty Hunters” in 1953.
2. Leonard’s interest in literature was aroused when, in his fifth grade he read a serialization of “All Quiet on the Western Front” in a Detroit newspaper.
3. Leonard’s influences included the great Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck and Raymond Chandler.
4. Over 28 of his novels and short story have been adapted to movies and television series.
5. Elmore Leonard was born in New Orleans on October 1925 and passed on in Detroit on August 2013 at age 87.
6. At age 9, Leonard’s dad, a General Motors executive moved his family to Detroit. Leonard lived there until his death in 2013.
7. Elmore Leonard started out penning Westerns. The first story he sold was “Trail of the Apaches” in 1951 to Argosy magazine.
8. Leonard picked the nickname “Dutch” because of the similarity between his name and the baseball pitcher’s “Emil Dutch Leonard.
9. Leonard published over 40 novels in his lifetime including “Get Shorty,” “Raylan,” “Up in Honey’s Room,” “Tishomingo Blues.” He claimed the movie adaptation of “Get Shorty” made his a household name.
10. Leonard published his last novel “Raylan” in 2012.
He received several Lifetime Achievement Awards from various writer’s organizations during his lifetime and sold film rights to most of his books. As a Guardian article in honor of Elmore Leonard said, it is sad that it “took the critics 30 years to catch up with him.”
RIP Elmore Leonard.