Best-selling author Tom Clancy died Tuesday night in a Baltimore hospital near his residence. He was 66.
A master of the sprawling international and technological thriller, Clancy was also quite prolific and innovative, distributing his work in various media and working with co-writers and other novelists in series of his own design. After kicking off his career with his debut novel The Hunt for Red October, a Cold War-era bestseller that was made into a hit film, he went on to develop the character of Jake Ryan into a popular series chronicling his progress from the CIA to the Oval Office. Clancy also branched off into other media, kicking off the Rainbow Six video game franchise with a novel of the same name.
When he wrote The Hunt for Red October, he said he made it up as he went along.
[I wrote it] from the beginning, not knowing how it was going to end. It really was a lot more fun doing it that way [...] If you plan things ahead of time you lose spontaneity.
Clancy wrote with other authors later on in his career and founded series with books written entirely by other people, including Tom Clancy’s Op Center. He co-wrote his last three books — Locked On, Threat Vector, and Command Authority, due out in December — with Mark Greaney.
A native of Baltimore County, Clancy was a lifelong Maryland resident, and a part owner of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team.
In celebration of his life, here’s a look back at Clancy’s legacy of best-selling novels, many of which were made into films.
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