Tom Clancy, prolific thriller author, dies (+video)

Tom Clancy was behind such novels as 'Patriot Games' and 'The Hunt for Red October.'

By , Staff Writer

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    Tom Clancy has died, according to his publisher.
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Prolific writer Tom Clancy has died at the age of 66, according to the author’s publisher.

The author is best known for his thrillers such as “The Hunt for Red October,” which was his first novel, “Clear and Present Danger,” and “The Sum of All Fears,” among others. Many of his books featured his protagonist Jack Ryan, who works for the CIA and eventually becomes a politician.

Clancy was born in Baltimore, Md. and attended Loyola College. He worked in insurance before publishing “October” in 1984. In addition to his books centering on Jack Ryan and his character John Clark, another member of the CIA, Clancy created various series including the Net Force books and the Op-Center series.

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He is also behind such nonfiction works as “Submarine” and “Special Forces.” According to the author's site, 17 of his books became New York times bestsellers.

"I’m deeply saddened by Tom’s passing," Penguin Group USA executive David Shank said in a statement. "He was a consummate author, creating the modern-day thriller, and was one of the most visionary storytellers of our time. I will miss him dearly and he will be missed by tens of millions of readers worldwide."

The author's books were so detailed that the federal government became concerned that Clancy had somehow accessed top-secret information. (He had actually just done a lot of research.) "If you were a naval officer, I would have you court-martialed because of all the classified information in your book," then-Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman Jr. told him after "October" was released, according to the New York Times.

Novels of Clancy’s that were turned into films included “The Hunt for Red October,” which starred Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery, and “Patriot Games,” which also starred Ford as well as Sean Bean. [Editor's note: This article originally mistakenly identified Harrison Ford as the star of "The Hunt for Red October".]

He released the novel “Threat Vector” this past December and a new novel, titled “Command Authority,” is due to come out this coming December. 

The author was also part of a group of investors that owned the Baltimore Orioles

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