Tom Clancy, Author of Popular Military Thrillers, Dies at 66 (VIDEO)

Tom ClancySome sad news out of the literary world today: Renowned novelist Tom Clancy has passed away at 66. Known for his incredibly detailed espionage and military science thrillers, Clancy has gifted us with such works as The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and iconic characters Jack Ryan and John Clark. The cause of death isn't known as of right now. He died at Johns Hopkins Hospital near his Maryland home.

He sold his first book, The Hunt for Red October, for only $5,000 to the Naval Institute Press in 1984. Defying all odds, it sold more than five million copies. The book inspired the 1990 film starring Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery. Clancy's final book, Command Authority, is scheduled to be published on December 3. 

As an author who reinvented the thriller genre and who was a true patriot, Tom will be very missed. And at 66! So young nowadays ...

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"It was an honor to know Tom Clancy and work on his fantastic books," Ivan Held, President and Publisher of G.P. Putnam's Sons, said in a statement. "He was ahead of the news curve and sometimes frighteningly prescient. To publish a Tom Clancy book was a thrill every time. He will be missed by everyone at Putnam and Berkley, and by his fans all over the world."

But he'll continue to live on through his work. The latest film he helped create, Jack Ryan: Shadow One, is set to be released on Christmas Day and was directed by Kenneth Branagh and will star Chris Pine. Unlike his other films, this one wasn't based on a particular novel, but it's the fifth film in the Jack Ryan series.

Clancy also wrote non-fiction books on military subjects and was even part owner of the Baltimore Orioles. Politically, he was conservative, and one of his books was dedicated to Ronald Reagan. He was also a Life Member of the National Rifle Association since 1978.

Not only will he live on through his movies and books, he also co-founded Red Storm Entertainment, which develops video games. His name has been attached to its best selling games, like Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction, and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent.

Clancy has always given us everyday folks an extremely detailed, thrilling insight into how the military works. As he once said, "The U.S. military is us. There is no truer representation of a country than the people that it sends into the field to fight for it. The people who wear our uniform and carry our rifles into combat are our kids, and our job is to support them, because they're protecting us." Here's an interview from a couple years ago Tom Clancy had with 'Chuck' A. Horner, retired Air Force General:

He also said: "Show me an elitist, and I'll show you a loser." You are the man, Tom. Rest in peace.

Did you have a favorite Tom Clancy novel?

 

Image via Chris Drumm/Flickr

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