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Crime novelist Elmore Leonard dead at 87

by Take Two®

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Author Elmore Leonard poses during a portrait session prior to a reading and signing of his latest novel "Up In Honey's Room" on May 24, 2007 at Book Soup in Los Angeles, California. Leonard died at age 87 in his home Tuesday [Aug. 20]. Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Elmore Leonard, the crime novelist whose books became famous films, died Tuesday morning. He was 87.

Movies such as "Jackie Brown", "Out of Sight" and "Get Shorty" were all based on his works. Elmore Leonard's novella "Fire in the Hold," inspired the popular FX show "Justified," on which Leonard served as executive producer.

Leonard spoke with KPCC's Patt Morrison in 2007, saying he preferred dialogue over narrative, a style he picked up after reading too many thick books in high school, and one that helped win him critical praise.

"I thought these books just have too many words in them. The writer's getting in the way. I think of the way we were taught to write with the independent clause first, but it sounds to me artificial. It sounds like we're trying to write. We're trying to show off that we're writers," Leonard said.

Winner of countless writing awards, Elmore Leonard was working on his 46th novel when he had a stroke earlier this month. He died of complications from that stroke. 

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