Broward News

Elmore Leonard, Crime Novelist, Dies Following Complications From Stroke

Elmore Leonard, a best-selling crime novelist and sometimes Florida resident, died Tuesday from complications of a stroke he suffered three weeks ago.

He was 87.

Leonard, who made his home between Detroit, Pompano Beach, and North Palm Beach, set many of his novels in Florida.

His bestsellers included Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Freaky Deaky, and Maximum Bob.

Leonard, who wrote 43 novels, distinguished himself as one of the greatest crime novelists of all time with his economic writing style and complex characters that ranged from antiheroes to shadowy figures of the underworld.

His stories were intelligent, filled with sardonic humor and danger.

Leonard's masterful use of dialect and patois is legendary.

"Well, when people ask me about my dialogue, I say 'Well, don't you hear people talking?' That's all I do," he once said. "I hear a certain type of individual. I decide this is what he should be, whatever it is, and then I hear him. Well, I don't hear anybody that I can't make talk."

His latest memorable character, the cowboy-hat-wearing, quick-draw U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (portrayed by Timothy Olyphant), can be seen on FX's Justified.

Some of Leonard's novels that are based in Florida include Get Shorty, Maximum Bob, Rum Punch, Riding the Rap, and Naked Came the Manatee.

Leonard was at home in Detroit, surrounded by his family, at the time of his death.

Shortly following his stroke, Leonard announced that he was at work on his 46th novel, which is badass.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph