Elmore Leonard, the crime novelist, died yesterday morning (20th August) of complications following a stroke. Leonard wrote such stories as Get Shorty and 3:10 to Yuma.

Elmore Leonard
Elmore Leonard with his award at the 72nd Peabody Award ceremony, held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

In a statement released by Michael Morrison, the president and publisher of HarperCollins, Leonard died "surrounded by his loving family." He was at his home in Bloomfield Village, in Michigan when he passed away. Morrison described the late author as "a true legend - unpretentious, unbelievably talented and the coolest dude in the room."

The 87-year-old was best known for his novel Get Shorty and his short stories 3:10 to Yuma and Fire in the Hole. His stories have been adapted on numerous occasions. Get Shorty, starring John Travolta and Gene Hackman, was released in 1995. Following the film's success, Leonard wrote a sequel to the crime drama, Be Cool. The sequel was adapted into a film, starring Travolta, and released in 2005. 

Leonard's short stories have provided inspiration for films and television shows. Justified, the FX drama series is based on Leonard's short story Fire in the Hole. The creators have also drawn inspiration from his novels Pronto and Riding the Rap. The show stars Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, a U.S. Marshal dealing with crime in a Kentucky city.  Leonard worked closely with the cast and crew, acting as a producer for the show. 

John Travolta
John Travolta arriving at Annabel's in London.

The Justified cast and crew released a statement on the being informed of Leonard's death. In respect to the late author's unpretentious and direct attitude, the statement was short but apt. They said: "we were blessed by the time we got to spend with him, and we will miss him. Our thoughts are with his family. Take it easy, Elmore. P.S.: We wrote longer versions of this statement, but as Elmore always said: Leave out the parts people tend to skip."

Leonard's latest novel Raylon, published last year, expands the Justified story. He dedicated the novel to the show's cast and crew. Leonard was not appreciative of many adaptations of his work. However, he was pleased with Justified and his last novel was encouraged by producer Graham Yost.

Contactmusic send their condolences to Elmore Leonard's family, friends and colleagues. 

Timothy Olyphant
Timothy Olyphant at the 2013 Fox Upfront Presentation in New York.