Crime Novelist Elmore Leonard Dies : The Two-Way His best-sellers included Get Shorty. Movies based on his stories included Hombre. Leonard was also the creator of the Raylan Givens character on FX TV's Justified. Leonard was 87.

Crime Novelist Elmore Leonard Dies

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


And another loss yesterday: Elmore Leonard, the creator of some of the most memorable characters in modern crime fiction, has died. Until he suffered a stroke a few weeks ago, the 87-year-old never stopped writing.


Elmore Leonard lived in or near Detroit for most of his life. He wrote about his hometown, but his characters could also be found across the country, from Atlantic City to L.A., coming at readers in a rush of dialogue both funny and crass, and stumbling upon trouble wherever they went.

GREENE: In an interview with NPR, Leonard said he auditioned his characters in the first 100 pages of his books to figure out who would live and who would die.


MONTAGNE: And Leonard's characters were great talkers. He wrote more than 40 novels: "The Big Bounce," "Get Shorty," "Rum Punch," "Glitz."

GREENE: Many of them were made into movies. Elmore Leonard was also known for his 10 rules of writing, among them: Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. He was writing to the end, hard at work on yet another novel.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.