‘Get Shorty’ and ‘Out Of Sight’ author Elmore Leonard dies, aged 87

Prolific crime writer suffered a stroke earlier this month and passed away surrounded by family

American crime writer Elmore Leonard has passed away at the age of 87.

Leonard, author of novels including Get Shorty, Out Of Sight and Rum Punch, had been hospitalised earlier this month (August) after suffering a stroke. A statement on his official website confirmed that he died this morning (August 20) at home in Bloomfield Village, a suburb of Detroit, “surrounded by his loving family”.

The prolific author had been in the process of penning his 46th novel before he was taken ill. Over the years, 26 of Elmore’s 45 novels were adapted for the big and small screens, including Out Of Sight, which became a hit 1998 film starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, and Rum Punch, which Quentin Tarantino turned into 1997’s Jackie Brown.

Leonard’s novel Get Shorty also became an acclaimed movie, released in 1995 and boasting a cast that included John Travolta, Danny DeVito and Rene Russo. More recently, ongoing US TV series Justified has been built around the trials and tribulations of US Marshal Raylan Givens, the popular hero of several Leonard novels and stories.

Leonard is survived by his third wife, Christine, whom he married in 1993. He also leaves behind five children, all from his first marriage, as well as 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.