Elmore Leonard is nothing if not an example of what can be accomplished with dedication and hard work. The author had been around since the 1950’s, with his stories “3:10 to Yuma” and “Tall T” being adapted into movies, but he’d never been a critical success or a best-seller. Indeed he struggled for decades, working on his craft and pumping out books until he broke through the best seller list when he was 60 years old. He worked tirelessly in the decades following, and had been working on a novel when he suffered a stroke at his home three weeks ago. It proved to be too much for the 87-year-old author. Elmore Leonard has passed away after complications from a stroke.
“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,” wrote Leonard’s researcher, Gregg Sutter, on the author’s Facebook page.
The works adapted from Leonard’s novels have attracted the brightest lights in Hollywood and any number of critical laurels. Quentin Tarantino turned Leonard’s Rum Punch into the Miramax film Jackie Brown; Steven Soderberg filmed Out Of Sight with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez (which also became the TV show Karen Sisco). Justified pulls from any number of Leonard stories, and is one of the most popular shows on cable. His celebrity fans run the gamut from Stephen King to Saul Bellow. Chili Palmer helped put the luster back on John Travolta’s career before Battlefield Earth ruined it.
Leonard also gave the best advice of pretty much any writer ever when he advised young writers to, “Try to leave out the parts that people skip.”
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