Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Leonard, Elmore

Author Elmore Leonard was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1925. His family moved frequently until 1934 when they settled in Detroit, Michigan, when his father got a job with General Motors. Leonard joined the navy after graduating high school in 1943, and served during World War II. After three years, he left the navy and enrolled at the University of Detroit, majoring in English and Philosophy. Leonard worked at the Campbell-Ewald advertising agency while still in college.

Around 1950, Leonard began writing and publishing short stories and western novels for magazines, with the first being The Bounty Hunters in 1953. Some of the other most notable works were Three-Ten to Yuma also published in 1953, as well as Hombre, in 1961. Leonard then moved into educational films and crime novels. His first big crime novel was The Big Bounce in 1969; He followed that novel with titles such as Fifty-Two Pickup in 1974, and Swag in 1976. His breakout novel however, was his crime thriller Glitz, in 1985, which followed a Miami detective being stalked by a criminal he had sent to prison. Leonard based most of his novels in Detroit and Florida, and was known for his working-class protagonists, damsels in distress, and particularly colorful and sleazy villains.

Leonard and his novels have been nominated for numerous awards, such the PEN Lifetime Achievement Award. One of his short stories, Fire in the Hole, became the basis for the television series Justified. Some of his other short stories and novels such as Rum Punch and Three-Ten to Yuma have been made into films. Rum Punch was adapted into the Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown.

Other well-known works by Elmore Leonard include: City Primeval, Stick, Freaky Deaky, and Get Shorty. Elmore Leonard passed away on August 20, 2013, following a stroke.



Elmore Leonard's "10 Rules of Writing", 2013 - 2013.075.001

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