Fast Facts

  • Nickname was Dutch, after MLB pitcher Dutch Leonard.
  • Tried to join the Marines after graduating high school, but was turned down due to poor eyesight. Soon after, he was drafted into the U.S. Navy and served with a Seabees construction unit.
  • First story, "Trail of the Apaches," was published in Argosy magazine in 1951.
  • More than 25 of his novels were made into movies, with The Big Bounce and 3:10 to Yuma getting two adaptations each.
  • Used Arizona Highways magazine as a resource when describing outdoor scenes in some of his novels.
  • In 2001, published "Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing" in the New York Times.
  • The crew of the TV series Justified, which was based on his novella Fire in the Hole, so admired the author that they wore bracelets initialed WWED (for "What would Elmore do?").
  • For more than 50 years, wrote his manuscripts longhand with a pen on legal tablets.
  • Favorite car was a blue Volkswagen convertible.


  • Florentine Amelia Rive Leonard — Mother
  • William Leonard — Son
  • Jane Jones — Daughter
  • Katy Dudley — Daughter
  • Christine Kent — Ex-wife
  • Peter Leonard — Son
  • Christopher Leonard — Son
  • Beverly Cline — Ex-wife
  • Margaret Madey — Sister
  • Elmore John Leonard Sr. — Father
  • Joan Shepard — Wife (deceased)


  • University of Detroit, Detroit, Michigan, United States (BA in English and Philosophy, 1950)

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  • Birth Name: Elmore John Leonard Jr.
  • Birth Place: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
  • Birthday: October 11, 1925, Libra
  • Died: August 20, 2013
  • Profession: Screenwriter, Author
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