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Elmore Leonard: 7 Facts About the Crime Novelist

When it came to writing about crooks, cops and the bizarre predicaments in which they can find themselves, Elmore Leonard was the Stephen King of his genre – or perhaps, as Time magazine once described him, “The Dickens of Detroit.” Leonard published 45 novels, starting with The Bounty Hunters in 1953 and ending with Raylan in 2011. His work inspired scores of hit movies, including Fifty-Two¬†Pickup, Mr. Majestyk,¬†Get Shorty, Out of Sight and Jackie Brown. The hit cable TV series Justified is based on two of his novels, Pronto and Riding the Rap.

Elmore Leonard: 10 Facts About the Crime NovelistBut Leonard, who died on Aug. 20 at age 87 in Bloomfield Village, Mich., was more than just a brand name on bookshelves and movie and TV screens. He may have been the last of the great old-fashioned pulp novelists, a breed of humble, low-rent literati who eked out a living in the 1950s by pounding out the prodigious amounts of prose required to keep bus-station newsstands stocked with dime novels.

Here are a few of the details about the man who was perhaps America’s greatest crime writer:

Here’s a 2006 interview with Leonard in which he gives his 10 tips for good writing:


Photo of Leonard in 1989: MDCarchives via Wikipedia


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