Author Elmore Leonard poses during a portrait session prior to a reading and signing of his latest novel 'Up In Honey's Room' on May 24, 2007 at Book Soup in Los Angeles, California.

Best-selling crime novelist Elmore Leonard died Tuesday from complications of a stroke he suffered last month. He was 87.

The author of “Get Shorty” and “Glitz” was surrounded by family at his home in Detroit when he passed away, according to a brief statement posted on

Leonard, known for his gritty, snappy dialogue, wrote nearly 50 novels during a career spanning six decades.

More than half of his works were turned into movies or television series, such as the shoot-‘em up western story “3:10 Yuma” and “The Big Bounce.”

Leonard, who was awarded an honorary National Book Award in 2012, once said the purpose of his books was to entertain himself.

“I feel that if I am entertained, then there will be enough other readers who will be entertained, too," he said.

But success came late in his career. Leonard didn’t have a best-seller until 1985 when “Glitz” was published.

Leonard married three times and had five children with his first wife.

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