You may have never heard of Elmore Leonard if you're not into reading but chances are, if you're any kind of film fan, you'll have heard of one of his many books or short stories that were turned into films. Maximum Bob, Get Shorty, Be Cool and Out of Sight are just a few of his many works of fiction that were given the Hollywood treatment.

Elmore Leonard
Elmore Leonard, Talented Writer Of Many Crime Novels, Has Died Aged 87

A statement was released on Leonard's official website saying simply "Elmore passed away this morning at 7:15 AM at home surrounded by his loving family. More to follow." It has since emerged that the author passed away as the result of a stroke whilst he was in the process of writing his 46th novel, according to BBC News.

After Leonard was born in New Orleans, his family settled in Detroit. He would go on to obtain a degree in English and Philosophy having taken part in short story contests for some time. His achieved success with his short story, Trail of the Apaches, in 1951 whilst working as a copy writer and released Three-Ten To Yuma and The Bounty Hunters - his first full novel - two years later. His spent the next decade writing Western short fiction and saw Three-Ten To Yuma adapted into a film, 3:10 To Yuma, in 1957; a film that would be remade a 2007.

John Travolta
John Travolta Appeared In Two Adaptations: Get Shorty & Be Cool.

From the sixties, Leonard turned his talent for writing to crime and mystery work as well as screenwriting. He would see his books transformed into films again and again as film directors were inspired by and could connect with his sparse use of dialogue, strong characters and no-nonsense action. However, the constant film attention his books were getting didn't always seem a good thing to Leonard. In an interview he admitted that some adaptations weren't as good as he'd have hoped: "I wanted to see my books made into good movies, but for some reason they'd just be lame. At first that sort of thing frustrated me, but I've since learnt to live with it."

Elmore Leonard Peabody
Elmore [L] Is Renowned For His Crime Writing Skills.

Nevertheless, his narratives began to attract big names such as George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, who starred in 1998's Out of Sight, and John Travolta, who starred in Be Cool and Get Shorty, as well as Touch with Christopher Walker. In 2001, Leonard published his 10 Rules of Writing to help others hone their skills and warn of any pitfalls and received a lifetime achievement prize at last year's America's National Book Awards.

His death, due to a stroke, occurred today (20th August) in Detroit's Bloomfield Hills with his family close by.