US novelist Tom Clancy dies at age 66

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tom Clancy signing books in Boston in 1989. Image: Gary Wayne Gilbert.

The bestselling US novelist Tom Clancy died yesterday in a hospital in Baltimore, according to his publisher. The sixty-six year old is best known for a series of novels themed around espionage, military affairs and geopolitical intrigue, many of which have been adapted into movies and video games.

The Hunt for Red October, Clancy’s first novel, sold over five million copies and was made into a movie with Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery. President Ronald Reagan described the novel as a “perfect yarn”. The protagonist of Red October, CIA analyst Jack Ryan, starred in a series of Clancy adventures featuring wars, terrorist attacks and international political power games. Ryan has been played by Harrison Ford and later Ben Affleck.

Seventeen of his twenty novels have reached number one on the New York Times bestseller list. In 2002, Forbes magazine estimated Clancy’s earnings at US$47.8m. His final novel, Command Authority, is to be published in December.

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