|Elmore "Dutch" Leonard first became interested in writing at the age of 10 after reading a serialization of "All Quiet on the Western Front", which inspired him to write a play for his fifth-grade class. He dabbled a little more in writing during high school, but after graduating in 1943, he joined the Navy and served in the South Pacific until 1946, when he went back home to attend the University of Detroit. Graduating with a degree in English and philosophy in 1950, Leonard continued working for the advertising agency he joined a year earlier, at the same time seriously turning his attention to writing for the first time. Initially establishing himself as a respected western writer, Leonard published his first story in 1951, "The Trail of the Apache". A string of western stories followed and, in 1953, his first novel, "The Bounty Hunters", hit the stands. He continued his work in advertising while publishing a sizable number of westerns, including the award-winning novel "Hombre". Leonard left the advertising agency in 1961 to work for himself for five years, producing educational and industrial films, as well as sales and marketing products. When Twentieth Century Fox bought the rights to "Hombre" in 1966, he was able to devote his full attention to writing. In 1968, Leonard switched from writing westerns to the genre he is most known for today, a contemporary amalgamation of mystery and crime colored with a sharp, witty, and precise prose style that has established him as both a cult favorite and a critically acclaimed novelist. "Glitz", his first major bestseller, appeared in 1985, beginning a long string of successes. Many of his novels have been made into successful films, including "Get Shorty" and "Rum Punch" (released as "Jackie Brown"). Leonard has lived in his home state of Michigan for most of his life, settling down with his wife, Christine. They have had five children together and are grandparents many times over.