Author Elmore Leonard dies

Elmore Leonard, writer of 45 books including "Get Shorty," died at the age of 87. (Source: Facebook)
Elmore Leonard, writer of 45 books including "Get Shorty," died at the age of 87. (Source: Facebook)

(RNN) - Elmore Leonard, a distinguished crime fiction writer whose stories included Get Shorty, Out of Sight and the tale that inspired the TV show Justified, died Tuesday at the age of 87.

Leonard's researcher and webmaster, Gregg Sutter, posted the information on the author's Facebook page.

"The post I dreaded to write, and you dreaded to read," Sutter wrote. "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."

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He had been attempting to recover from a stroke suffered July 29 at a hospital in his hometown of Detroit, according to the Detroit News. Sutter told the newspaper a week later that Leonard had been in the middle of writing his 46th novel.

Three of Leonard's works have been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award by the Mystery Writers of American: The Switch, nominated for Best Original Paperback Novel of 1978; Split Images, for Best Novel of 1981; and LaBrava, which won for Best Novel in 1983.

Maximum Bob was also awarded the first annual International Association of Crime Writers North American Hammett Prize in 1991. In 1992, the Mystery Writers of America gave Leonard the Grand Master Award and in 2009, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA.

Leonard joined the Navy in 1943 and served with a Seabee unite in the South Pacific. In 1946, he enrolled at the University of Detroit.

During college, Leonard worked for an advertising agency while turning to his love of writing. Trail of the Apache was his first short story published in 1951 in the magazine Argosy. According to his Facebook page, the author continued writing western short stories, which he had published in Zane Grey Western and The Saturday Evening Post.

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