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Leonard, Elmore 1925–

LEONARD, Elmore 1925–


Full name, Elmore John Leonard, Jr.; born October 11 (some sources cite October 29), 1925, in New Orleans, LA; raised in Detroit, MI; son of Elmore John (in sales) and Flora Amelia (maiden name, Rive) Leonard; married Beverly Claire Cline, July (some sources cite August) 30, 1949 (divorced, May 24, 1977); married Joan Shephard (some sources cite the name Joan Leanne Lancaster), September 15, 1979 (died, January 13, 1993); married Christine Kent, August 19, 1993; children: (first marriage) Jane Elmore Jones, Peter, Christopher, William, Katherine Elmore Dudley. Education: University of Detroit, Ph.B., 1950. Avocational Interests: Gardening, watching television.


Agent—Andrew Wiley, Andrew Wiley Agency, 250 West 57th St., Suite 2114, New York, NY 10107. Manager—Michael Siegel and Associates, 8830 West Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048 (some sources cite 11532 Thurston Circle, Los Angeles, CA 90049).


Writer and producer. Campbell–Ewald Advertising, Detroit, MI, copywriter, 1950–61; freelance copywriter and author of educational and industrial films, 1961–63; Elmore Leonard Advertising Company, principal, 1963–66. Appeared in advertisements for American Express, 1980s. Nickname is Dutch. Military service: U.S. Naval Reserve, 1943–46.


Writers Guild of America, Authors League of America, Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, Western Writers of America.

Awards, Honors:

Hombre was named one of the twenty–five best western novels of all time, Western Writers of America, 1977; Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination, Mystery Writers of America, best original paperback novel, 1978, for The Switch; Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination, best novel, 1981, for Split Images; Edgar Allan Poe Award, best novel, 1983, for LaBrava; award from Michigan Foundation for the Arts, 1985; special mention, Cognac Festival du Film Policier, 1988, for The Rosary Murders; Literary Lions Award, New York Public Library, 1989; North American Hammett Prize, International Association of Crime Writers, book of the year, 1991, for Maximum Bob; Grand Master Award, Mystery Writers of America, 1992, for "individuals who, by a lifetime of achievement, have proved themselves preeminent in the craft of the mystery and dedicated to the advancement of the genre"; Bronze Wrangler Award (with others), Western Heritage awards, outstanding television feature film, 1998, for Last Stand at Saber River; Edgar Allan Poe Award (with Scott Frank), best motion picture, 1999, for Out of Sight; honorary doctorates from various institutions, including Florida Atlantic University, 1996, University of Detroit Mercy, 1997, and University of Michigan, 2000.


Film Executive Producer:

Jackie Brown, Miramax, 1997.

Be Cool, Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer, 2005.

Tishomingo Blues, Warner Bros., 2005.

Film Consultant:

The Big Bounce, Warner Bros., 2004.

Television Executive Consultant; Series:

Maximum Bob, ABC, 1998.

(And production consultant) Karen Sisco, ABC, 2003, USA Network, 2003–2004.

Television Creator; Movies:

Desperado: Badlands Justice, NBC, 1989.

Desperado: The Outlaw Wars, 1989.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Himself, AFI's "100 Years … 100 Heroes & Villains" (also known as AFI's "100 Years, 100 Heroes & Villains: America's Greatest Screen Characters"), CBS, 2003.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Byline Showtime, Showtime, 1992.

American Cinema, PBS, 1995.



Be Cool, Recorded Books, 1999.

The Kid and the Big Hunt, Simon & Schuster Audio, 2000.

The Elmore Leonard Collection, BDD Audio, 2001.

When the Women Come Out to Dance, Harper Audio, 2002.

Tishomingo Blues, Harper Audio, 2003.

Mr. Paradise, Harper Audio, 2004.

Other Leonard works have been released as audio recordings.


Inside "Out of Sight," Universal Studios Home Video, 1998.

Jackie Brown: How It Went Down, Miramax Home Entertainment, 2002.



The Moonshine War (based on the novel by Leonard), Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer, 1970.

Joe Kidd, Universal, 1972.

Mr. Majestyk, United Artists, 1974.

(With Joseph C. Stinson) Stick (based on Leonard's novel), Universal, 1985.

(With John Steppling) Fifty–Two Pick–Up (based on Leonard's novel), Cannon, 1986.

(With Fred Walton) The Rosary Murders (based on the novel by William X. Kienzle), New Line Cinema, 1987.

Also wrote film scripts for Encyclopedia Britannica Films, including Boy of Spain, Frontier Boy, Julius Caesar, and Settlement of the Mississippi Valley; author of the script for a recruiting film for the Roman Catholic Franciscan order.

Teleplays; Movies:

High Noon, Part Two: The Return of Will Kane (also known as High Noon, Part II and The Return of Will Kane), CBS, 1980.

Desperado, NBC, 1987.

Teleplays; Episodic:

Byline Showtime, Showtime, 1992.

Western Novels:

The Bounty Hunters, Houghton Mifflin, 1953.

The Law at Randado, Houghton Mifflin, 1954.

Escape from Five Shadows, Houghton Mifflin, 1956.

Last Stand at Saber River (also known as The Sound of Gunfire), Dell, 1957, published as Lawless River, R. Hale, 1959, and as Stand on the Saber, Corgi, 1960.

Hombre, Ballantine Books, 1961.

Valdez Is Coming, Gold Medal, 1970.

Forty Lashes Less One, Bantam Books, 1972.

Gunsights, Bantam Books, 1979.

Crime Novels:

The Moonshine War, Doubleday, 1969.

The Big Bounce (also known as Mother, This Is Jack Ryan), Gold Medal, 1969, revised edition, Armchair Detective, 1989.

Fifty–Two Pick–Up, Delacorte Press, 1974.

Mr. Majestyk (based on his screenplay), Dell, 1974.

Swag, Delacorte Press, 1976, published as Ryan's Rules, Dell, 1976.

The Hunted, Dell, 1977.

Unknown Man, No. 89, Delacorte Press, 1977.

The Switch, Bantam Books, 1978.

City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit, Arbor House, 1980.

Gold Coast, Bantam Books, 1980, revised edition, 1985.

Split Images, Arbor House, 1981.

Cat Chaser, Avon, 1982.

LaBrava, Arbor House, 1983.

Stick, Arbor House, 1983.

Glitz, Arbor House, 1985.

Bandits, Arbor House, 1987.

Touch, Arbor House, 1987.

Freaky Deaky, William Morrow, 1988.

Killshot, William Morrow, 1989.

Get Shorty, Delacorte Press, 1990.

Maximum Bob, Delacorte Press, 1991.

Rum Punch, Delacorte Press, 1992.

Pronto, Delacorte Press, 1993.

Riding the Rap, Delacorte Press, 1995.

Out of Sight, Delacorte Press, 1996.

Cuba Libre, Delacorte Press, 1998.

Be Cool, Delacorte Press, 1999.

Pagan Babies, Delacorte Press, 2000.

Mr. Paradise, William Morrow, 2002.

Tishomingo Blues, William Morrow, 2002.

Short Story Collections:

The Tonto Woman and Other Western Stories, Delacorte Press, 1998.

When the Women Come Out to Dance, William Morrow, 2002.

Omnibus Volumes:

Elmore Leonard's Dutch Treat: Three Novels (contains The Hunted, Mr. Majestyk, and Swag), introduction by George F. Will, Arbor House, 1985.

Elmore Leonard's Double Dutch Treat: Three Novels (contains City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit, Gold Coast, and The Moonshine War), introduction by Bob Greene, Arbor House, 1986.

Elmore Leonard: Three Complete Novels (contains Cat Chaser, LaBrava, and Split Images), Wings Books, 1992.

Elmore Leonard's Western Roundup #1 (contains The Bounty Hunters, Forty Lashes Less One, and Gun-sights), Delta, 1998.

Elmore Leonard's Western Roundup #2 (contains Escape from Five Shadows, Last Stand at Saber River, and The Law at Randado), Delta, 1998.

Elmore Leonard's Western Roundup #3 (contains Hombre and Valdez Is Coming), Delta, 1999.


Notebooks, Lord John, 1990.

Fire in the Hole (novella; e–book), Contentville Press, 2001.

A Coyote's in the House! (juvenile), William Morrow, 2004.

Contributor to books, including The Courage to Change: Personal Conversations about Alcoholism, edited by Dennis Wholey, Houghton Mifflin, 1984; and Naked Came the Manatee: A Novel, edited by Carl Hiaasen, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1996. Novelettes include The Captives and 3:10 to Yuma. Contributor of short stories and novelettes to periodicals, including Argosy, Dime Western, Saturday Evening Post, and Zane Grey's Western.


Several feature films have been based on Leonard's writings. 3:10 to Yuma, adapted by Halsted Welles and released by Columbia in 1957, was based on Leonard's novelette of the same title. The Tall T, adapted by Burt Kennedy and released by Columbia in 1957, was based on Leonard's novelette The Captives. The films Hombre, adapted by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank and released by Twentieth Century–Fox in 1967, The Big Bounce, adapted by Robert Dozier and released by Warner Bros. in 1969, and Valdez Is Coming, adapted by Roland Kibbee and David Rayfiel and released by United Artists in 1971, were all based on Leonard's novels. The Ambassador (also known as The Peace-maker), adapted by Max Jack and released by Cannon in 1984, was based on Leonard's novel Fifty–Two Pick–Up. Cat Chaser, adapted by Alan Sharp and James Borrelli in 1989 and released by LIVE Home Video in 1991, was based on Leonard's novel of the same title. The film Border Shootout, released by Turner Home Entertainment in 1990, was based on Leonard's western novel The Law at Randado. The films Get Shorty, adapted by Scott Frank and released by Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer/United Artists in 1995, and Touch, adapted by Paul Schrader and released by Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer/United Artists in 1997, were also based on Leonard's novels. Jackie Brown, adapted by Quentin Tarantino and released by Miramax in 1997, was based on Leonard's novel Rum Punch. Out of Sight, adapted by Scott Frank and released by Universal in 1998, The Big Bounce, released by Warner Bros. in 2004, Be Cool, released by Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer in 2005, Tishomingo Blues, released by Warner Bros. in 2005, and Killshot, released by Miramax, were also based on Leonard's novels. Television movies based on Leonard's writings include Glitz, broadcast by NBC in 1988; and Split Images, broadcast in 1992; Pronto, broadcast by Showtime in 1996; Last Stand at Saber River, adapted by Ronald Cohen and broadcast by TNT in 1997; and Gold Coast (also known as Elmore Leonard's "Gold Coast"), broadcast by Showtime in 1997. The television series Maximum Bob, broadcast by ABC in 1998, was based on Leonard's novel of the same title. The television series Karen Sisco, broadcast by ABC in 2003 and USA Network in 2003 and 2004, was also based on Leonard's work.



Authors and Artists for Young Adults, Volume 59, Thomson Gale, 2005.

Bestsellers '89, Issue 1, Gale, 1989, p. 42.

Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, Volume 28, Gale, 1990, p. 282.

Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale, Volume 28, 1984, p. 233; Volume 34, 1985, p. 212.

Devlin, James E., Elmore Leonard, Twayne Publishers, 1999.

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 173: American Novelists since World War II, Gale, 1996.

Geherin, David, Elmore Leonard, Continuum, 1989.


Book, March/April, 2002, p. 28.

Creative Screenwriting, Volume 4, issue 2, 1997, pp. 44–61.

Detroiter, June, 1974.

Film Comment, March/April, 1998, p. 43.

Gallery, February, 2001, pp. 90–91; June, 2002, pp.88–89, 136–37.

Maclean's, March 29, 1999, p. 70.

Movieline, July, 1998, pp. 52–56, 87.

Newsweek, December 23, 2002, p. 75.

New Yorker, September 30, 1996, pp. 43–47.

New York Times, December 30, 1984.

People Weekly, March 24, 1997, p. 35.

Publishers Weekly, January 21, 2002, pp. 52–56.

TV Guide, August 1, 1998, p. 23.

Writer, November, 1997, p. 22.

Writer's Digest, Volume 77, issue 6, 1997, pp. 30–32.


The Official Elmore Leonard Website,, January 2, 2005.

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"Leonard, Elmore 1925–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"Leonard, Elmore 1925–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . (January 18, 2018).

"Leonard, Elmore 1925–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from

Leonard, Elmore

Elmore Leonard (John Elmore Leonard), 1925–2013, American novelist, b. New Orleans, grad. Univ. of Detroit (1950). "Dutch" Leonard began publishing Western tales in the early 1950s, the best known of which is the short novel Hombre (1961; film, 1967). His first crime novel, The Big Bounce, was published in 1969 (films, 1969 and 2004); thereafter, he contributed numerous novels and short stories to the genre, writing about a book a year. Leonard developed a gritty realism in style and setting (often Detroit), a hard-boiled and tough-talking cast of outsider characters, a deadpan humor, and a crisp, clean prose that made him one of America's top crime writers. Many of his novels became films, sometimes with his own screenplays. Among the most popular of his many books are Fifty-two Pickup (1974; film, 1984 and 1986), Stick (1983; film, 1985), LaBrava (1983), Glitz (1985), Freaky Deaky (1988; film, 2012), Get Shorty (1990; film, 1995), Maximum Bob (1990; television series, 1998), Rum Punch (1992), Out of Sight (1996; film, 1998), Cuba Libre (1998), Be Cool (1999; film, 2005), Tishomingo Blues (2002), Mr. Paradise (2004), The Hot Kid (2005), Road Dogs (2009), Djibouti (2010), and Raylan (2012), his 45th and last novel.

See biographies by D. Geherin (1989), J. E. Devlin (1999), and P. C. Challen (2000); C. J. Rzepka, Being Cool: The Work of Elmore Leonard (2013); M. Dibb and R. Horsley, Elmore Leonard's Criminal Records (documentary, 1991).

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"Leonard, Elmore." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 18 Jan. 2018 <>.

"Leonard, Elmore." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (January 18, 2018).

"Leonard, Elmore." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved January 18, 2018 from