14 Facts About Elmore Leonard


Elmore Leonard graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1943 and, after being rejected for the Marines for weak eyesight, immediately joined the Navy, where he served with the Seabees for three years in the South Pacific.


Elmore Leonard graduated in 1950 with a bachelor's degree in English and philosophy.


Elmore Leonard wrote his first novel, The Bounty Hunters, in 1953 and followed this with four other novels.


Elmore Leonard often developed his characters through dialogue, each defined by means of their speech.


LaBrava, a novel set there published in 1983, was the occasion for a New York Times review, in which Elmore Leonard moved from mystery suspense short story writer to novelist.


Elmore Leonard believed that his books during the 1980s were becoming more humorous and that he was developing a style that was more free and easy.


Elmore Leonard spent the last years of his life with his family in Oakland County, Michigan.

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Ernest Hemingway

One of Elmore Leonard's grandchildren is Alex Elmore Leonard, the drummer in the Detroit band Protomartyr.


Elmore Leonard often cited Ernest Hemingway as perhaps his most important influence, but at the same time criticized Hemingway for his lack of humor and for taking himself too seriously.


Elmore Leonard in turn had a very strong influence on a generation of crime writers that followed him.


Elmore Leonard contributed one chapter to the 1996 Miami Herald parody serial novel Naked Came the Manatee.


All but three of Elmore Leonard's novels have been performed as audiobooks.


Many Elmore Leonard works have been recorded more than once resulting in more than 70 English-language audiobook versions of Elmore Leonard novels.


Elmore Leonard has written several screenplays based on his novels, plus original screenplays such as Joe Kidd.