DETROIT - Elmore Leonard, a former adman who later in life became one of America's foremost crime writers, has died. He was 87.
His researcher, Gregg Sutter, says Elmore passed away Tuesday morning from complications from a stroke.
Leonard's books were populated by pathetic schemers, clever con men and casual killers. And many of the novels -- notably "Out of Sight," "Get Shorty" and "Be Cool" -- were made into films. Critics adored his simple, direct language.
More recently, he served as executive producer of the FX drama, "Justified," which featured as its centerpiece U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, a recurring Leonard character.
Earlier in his career, the man known to friends as "Dutch" wrote Western novels and stories, but his major commercial success didn't come until the 1980s.