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Detroit resident and Hollywood writer Elmore Leonard dead at 87


The news was announced this morning on Leonard's Facebook page:

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.

Leonard suffered a stroke three weeks ago.

He had a long career writing westerns and crime novels that were made into Hollywood films.

Some of the more well known films included "3:10 to Yuma," "Get Shorty," "Hombre, "Out of Sight," and "Jackie Brown" (which was based on his book "Rum Punch").

Michigan Radio's Kate Wells is following this story and will have more for us later.

Here, you can listen to Leonard explain who his influences were (Hemingway and Richard Bissell).

And NPR's Noah Adams stopped by to visit Leonard when he was 84. In the piece, Leonard visits the site of the old Tigers Stadium for the first time. Take a listen here:

Susan Whitall of the Detroit News writes that Leonard liked his home in Detroit, and that he approached his work with discipline:

Famously, Leonard started writing Western-themed novels from 5-7 a.m. at home before going to work at the Campbell-Ewald agency, where Chevrolet trucks was one of his accounts. He developed a ferocious work ethic, writing every day in a cinder block basement office that son Peter described as looking like a prison cell. After he quit advertising, he kept up the discipline in his monk-like office, writing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. without a lunch break. While he could have moved to Los Angeles and lapped up the attention of his many film and TV fans, Leonard never left Metro Detroit, retreating to his quiet Bloomfield Village home to write his gritty novels. Detroit has been the gift that keeps on giving in his fiction. “I like it,” Leonard said in 2012 of the Detroit area. “Great music ... lot of poverty. I wouldn’t move anywhere else. Now, it’s too late. I'd never be able to drive in San Francisco or Los Angeles.”


Mark Brush was Michigan Radio’s Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.