Crime Novelist Elmore Leonard Dies at 87

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Elmore Leonard in 1998. (Partrick Goldstein / Los Angeles Times)

Elmore Leonard, one of America’s best known crime novelists, died Tuesday morning due to complications from a stroke, according to Leonard’s Facebook page and his longtime researcher at the Detroit News, Gregg Sutter.

Leonard, 87, was working on his 46th novel at the time of his death.

Born in New Orleans in 1925, Leonard and his family moved to Detroit when the writer was very young and his father was working for General Motors. Leonard made the city his longtime home, and was referred to as “the Dickens of Detroit” by fans.

His first book, “The Bounty Hunters,” was published in 1953. His writing career began with pulp Westerns, only settling into the trademark Leonard realism, crime and wit with 1969’s “The Big Bounce,” which has been adapted for the movies twice. His most recent novel, “Raylan,” was released in 2012.

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