Famed Detroit area crime writer Elmore Leonard dies at age 87

(WXYZ) - Acclaimed crime writer Elmore Leonard has died at the age of 87.

According to his website, Leonard passed away at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday morning at his home in the Detroit suburbs, surrounded by his family.

Earlier this month Leonard suffered a stroke but family members were guardedly optimistic about his recovery.

Leonard has written 45 Westerns, crime novels and mysteries. He was working on novel #46 when he died.

Many of his books — notably "Out of Sight," ''Get Shorty" and "Be Cool" — have become films. "Life of Crime," based on Leonard's "The Switch," is to be screened at the Toronto Film Festival next month.

Leonard was given an honorary National Book Award last year.

He graduated from U of D high school and college where he majored in English and  Philosophy.

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