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Justified Writer Elmore Leonard Suffers Stroke
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Justified Writer Elmore Leonard Suffers Stroke

Elmore Leonard has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke. The 87 year old author suffered the stroke on July 29th. He is recovering at an undisclosed location in Detroit. Leonard's research assistant, Greg Sutter, reported that the author is showing signs of improvement.

"He's a fighter." said Sutter. He added that the family is optimistic that Leonard will recover.

Leonard was working on his 46th book at the time of his stroke. Many of his books have been made into movies including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Hombre and Rum Punch which became Jackie Brown.

Some of Leonard's short stories have also gotten the Hollywood treatment. The western movies 3:10 to Yuma and The Tall T were based on short stories.

Elmore was born in New Orleans on October 11, 1925. His father was a site locator for General Motors so the family moved quite often. He developed a fascination with both sports and guns. Growing up in an era of gangsters like Bonnie and Clyde, he was influenced by the gritty and violent world of famous gangsters. He also developed a life long love of the Detroit Tigers.

After graduating from high school in Detroit he joined the Navy. He served with the Seabees for three years in the South Pacific. It was during this time he was given the nickname Dutch. Upon returning to Detroit he enrolled at the University of Detroit.

Leonard began writing stories and submitting them to magazines and contests. His first success was in 1951 with the story "Trail of the Apaches". Leonard wrote western fiction for many years following the publication of that story in Argosy magazine.

Later Leonard began writing in other genres. He branched out into mystery and crime fiction. His novels are known for their gritty characters and fast paced witty dialogue. The National Book Foundation honored him with a lifetime achievement award in November, 2012.

Leonard is very proud of being part of the FX Network hit series Justified. The series is based on his short story "Fire in the Hole". The story follows U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens as he returns to his home state of Kentucky. There he meets up with a boyhood friend, Boyd Crowder. Boyd has taken up blowing up churches and avoiding the IRS. Raylan is sent to check up on his old friend. That assignment leads to Raylan's struggle with old loyalties verses his duties as a lawman. Ralyan Givens also appears in the stories Ridin the Rap and Pronto.

Leonard was so impressed by Timothy Olyphan'ts portrayal of Givens, he wrote a new novel entitled Raylan. He gave the writers on Justified permission to take material from his new book to use on Justified. His novel spawned several plot lines for the show.

Here is wishing Mr. Leonard a complete recovery. We all look forward to that 46th novel!


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