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Elmore Leonard: A long career, by the numbers

August 20, 2013|By Ryan Faughnder
  • Elmore Leonard works on a manuscript at his home in Bloomfield Township, Mich.
Elmore Leonard works on a manuscript at his home in Bloomfield Township,… (Carlos Osorio / Associated…)

Elmore Leonard, who died Tuesday at age 87 due to complications from a stroke, leaves behind a remarkable legacy in publishing, film and television. 

The writer was best known for western and crime novels that were turned into movies such as "Jackie Brown," "Get Shorty" and "3:10 to Yuma." He also wrote the short story "Fire in the Hole," which became the basis for the TV series "Justified."

Here are some numbers to highlight Leonard's career. 

45 -- Number of novels. He was in the middle of writing his 46th when he suffered his stroke.

8 million -- Books in print, including e-books, with publisher William Morrow since 1980.

Selected box-office domestic tallies for films based on Leonard's books (According to, not adjusted for inflation):

  • "Be Cool" (2005): $55,849,401 
  • "Out of Sight" (1998): $37,562,568 
  • "Jackie Brown" (1997): $39,673,162
  • "Get Shorty" (1995): $72,101,622
  • "Hombre" (1967): $12,000,000

$1,000 -- Amount he was paid for his first published story, in Argosy magazine in 1951. (Washington Post)

$10,000 -- Amount 20th Century Fox paid for the rights to his novel "Hombre" in 1967. (WP)

84 -- Number of times "The Big Bounce" was rejected before finding a publisher. (WP)

105 -- Number of publishers who rejected "Unknown Man #89," published in 1977. (WP)

7 -- Emmy nominations for "Justified" (2010-2012; the show was snubbed in this year's nominations).

2 -- Emmys won by "Justified" (2012 and 2011).

$1,800 -- Starting bid on Ebay for a rare signed first edition of Leonard's novel "Lawless River" earlier this year.

4 -- Books featuring Raylan Givens, the main character of "Justified."

Jan. 24, 1977 -- Day of his last alcoholic drink. (WP) 


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