Thursday, October 3, 2013

Spotlight: Tom Clancy (1947-2013)

According to Publishers Weekly and the New York Times, best-selling author Tom Clancy has died at the age of 66. The author’s publisher confirmed that Clancy passed away Tuesday night at a hospital in Baltimore.

In a vaunted career that spanned almost 30 years, the scribe sold over 50 million books, swiftly earning a reputation as one of the premiere storytellers of military and espionage thrillers. During his career as a writer, Tom Clancy set the standard for military novels. Clancy wrote 17 novels that landed the No. 1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list.

Clancy began his career as an insurance broker before striking it out as an author in 1984 with his debut novel, The Hunt for Red October, which sold over five million copies. The book was later adapted for the big screen in 1988 and starred Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin and James Earl Jones. Clancy’s books Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger were also adapted into films and featured Harrison Ford as Clancy’s recurring character Jack Ryan. Ben Affleck took over the role of Ryan in 2002 for the film adaptation of Clancy’s The Sum of All Fears.

His writing gained him a loyal following within the armed forces in the United States and abroad, giving him inside access that frequently informed the plots of his books. But in a 2003 CNN interview, Clancy said he was always careful not to reveal classified information or sensitive details of how the elite troops he often wrote about operated.

Clancy, who was a part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles, founded the video-game company Red Storm Entertainment in 1996. Clancy broke into the gaming industry with popular videogame franchises like Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell.

At the time of Clancy's death, Paramount Pictures was working on a reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise, Jack Ryan: Shadow One, starring Chris Pine and directed by Kenneth Branagh. His last novel, Command Authority, is scheduled to be released on Dec. 3.

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