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Best-selling thriller writer Tom Clancy dead at 66

Although details are scarce, various sources are reporting that Tom Clancy, best-selling author of books such as The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, and The Sum of All Fears has died. According to the National Post, no cause of death has been given. Clancy was 66 years old.

Widely touted as the leading practitioner of the so-called technothriller, Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels were perennial bestsellers in the 1980s and ’90s, and spawned a number of hit movies. Alec Baldwin played Ryan in the 1990 adaptation of The Hunt for Red October; Harrison Ford took over the role in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger; and Ben Affleck stepped in for The Sum of All Fears.

Clancy may be better known to a younger generation for lending his name to several popular video game series, such as Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell.

From the CBC:

In the mid-1990s, he helped found Red Storm Entertainment, which released games ” some based on his books, others on original ideas. Red Storm was later purchased by gaming giant Ubisoft, which continues to create games under the Clancy moniker.

“We are saddened to learn of Tom Clancy’s passing and our condolences go out to his family. Tom Clancy was an extraordinary author with a gift for creating detailed, engrossing fictional stories that captivated audiences around the world,” Ubisoft said in a statement.

The Ceeb also points out that (perhaps unsurprisingly) former U.S. president Ronald Reagan was a fan of Clancy’s fiction.

Clancy’s books were so rich in technical detail that many people assumed he had a background in covert operations or the military, although apparently this was not the case. Born in Baltimore, he worked in insurance before turning to writing.