Author Tom Clancy Dies at 66

Tom ClancyBrendan Smialowski/Getty Images

All modern readers — ranging from those with a taste for the classics to the sort whose libraries are comprised entirely of the New York Times‘ latest recommendations — know the name Tom Clancy. The literary powerhouse behind so many titles that have taken form on the big screen, Clancy has contributed just as much to contemporary Hollywood as he has to contemporary literature. Tragically, Clancy died on Wednesday morning at age 66, with CNN reporting no known cause for the author’s passing.

The Baltimore native’s first work is perhaps his most famous as well: The Hunt for Red October, a 1984 novel that introduced his Jack Ryan hero and was brought to life in the form of an esteemed adventure movie six years later. But Clancy has a number of venerable pieces to his name that have also earned cinematic life: Clancy published Patriot Games in ’87, Clear and Present Danger in ’89, and The Sum of All Fears in ’91. A fifth Jack Ryan film, Jack Ryan: Shadow One, is set to hit theaters in December.

In addition to movies, Clancy also inspired many a video game with his stories, the most famous of which being Rainbow Six, which Clancy wrote in 1998. The author showed no signs of slowing down his writing career. Since returning to the craft in 2010, Clancy penned five novels, and has another, Command Authority, due for publication in December 2013.

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