elmoOn this day in 1925, in the city of New Orleans one of the finest mystery writers of our time was born, Elmore Leonard. In 1934 his family moved to Detroit where he would later attend Detroit Jesuit High School. Later in 1943 he enlisted in the Navy and served three years in the South Pacific where he earned his nickname, ‘Dutch’. In 1946 he was discharged and enrolled in the University of Detroit where he focused on writing. His early work would be in the genre of westerns. In 1951 his first story, ‘Trail of the Apaches’ was published and in 1953 his first novel, ‘The Bounty Hunters’ was published. It wasn’t until 1969 that he published his first mystery. Leonard also wrote screen plays and non-fiction. He has been awarded a Grandmaster Edgar Award in 1989, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Award in 2008 and a National Book Award Medal for Distinguished Contribution in 2012. In 2013 he passed away at his home from complication from a stroke. His influence on the genre of mystery and his legacy will live in his printed words, some of which I hope will appear in published volumes to come. Today I lament the characters he was never able to put to paper and the stories he was never able to tell. Tonight I will open the bottle of aged bourbon, skip the ice and toss it back for Elmore Leonard, skoal!

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