News Release

Renowned Writers Elmore Leonard and son Peter Leonard Lecture and Book Signing

University of Detroit Mercy alumnus Elmore Leonard '50 returned to his alma mater with his son Peter Leonard, for a lecture followed by a question and answer session and book signing. This event took place on Wednesday, February 27, in room 114 of the Chemistry Building on UDM's McNichols Campus. The lecture and Q&A began at 6 p.m. with a book signing and refreshments following at 7 pm.

Elmore Leonard studied Philosophy and English at University of Detroit and earned his bachelors degree in 1950. In 1997. Leonard was awarded an honorary degree from UDM, Doctorate of Human Letters. He was also awarded the UDM Alumni Achievement Award in 2007.

Elmore and Peter LeonardAn author of more than 45 novels/screenplays, Leonard is currently executive producer for the television show Justified on FX, based on his novel "Fire in the Hole". Many of Leonard's novels have been adapted to film, such as Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Hombre, and "Rum Punch" which was filmed as Jackie Brown.

Leonard discussed his latest novel "Raylan", as well as his life and career as a writer. Similar to his father, Peter Leonard is also a successful writer and has written six novels. He discussed his most recent work "Voices of the Dead" and "Back from the Dead."

"Raylan" is the fourth installment of Leonard's mystery and crime series that follows U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens and his ongoing battle with corruption in a Kentucky coal-mining town.

The UDM Bookstore has several of Elmore Leonard and Peter Leonard’s novels available for purchase.

Elmore Leonard was awarded the 2012 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation. The award recognizes his outstanding achievement in fiction writing. Also, the film adaptation for Leonard's 1957 short story 3:10 to Yuma was one of 25 films to be added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for 2012 and was chosen for preservation because of its cinematic importance and lasting cultural significance.

To learn more about Elmore Leonard and Peter Leonard visit their websites at and


Elmore and Peter Leonard

February 22, 2013
For Pope: A Dude Like Dad

Elmore Leonard / New York Times: Opinion Pages

"I grew up Catholic, went to Mass every day in grade school and high school; was taught by the Jesuits; spent two and a half years in the Navy during the war; returned, and was graduated from another Jesuit school, the University of Detroit. I even taught catechism in the ’60s, although I just told stories for the most part." More >>

Release date: February 26, 2013

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The University of Detroit Mercy is Michigan's largest private Catholic University, with more than 100 academic majors and programs. Sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy, the University has campuses located in downtown and northwest Detroit.

UDM is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities and the largest of 17 Mercy institutions of higher education in the United States. For the 15th consecutive year, University of Detroit Mercy is listed in the top tier of Midwest regional universities in the 2016 edition of the U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges."