Tom Clancy, U.S. master of spy thriller novels, dies at 66

Wed Oct 2, 2013 7:33pm EDT
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By Scott Malone

(Reuters) - Best-selling U.S. author Tom Clancy, who thrilled readers with vivid descriptions of soldiers and spies in novels including "The Hunt for Red October" and "Patriot Games," has died at 66, his publisher said on Wednesday.

Clancy, whose books sold more than 100 million copies, died on Tuesday in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, Penguin said.

"I'm deeply saddened by Tom's passing," said David Shanks, a Penguin executive who had worked with Clancy from the start of his writing career through the upcoming "Command Authority," which is due out in December.

"He was a consummate author, creating the modern-day thriller, and was one of the most visionary storytellers of our time. I will miss him dearly and he will be missed by tens of millions of readers worldwide," he said.

Clancy died at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

His works closely tracked Americans' security fears, moving from Cold War face-offs to terrorist attacks and both fascinated readers with their high-stakes plots and enthralled military experts with their precise details.

The books also inspired Hollywood blockbuster films including "Clear and Present Danger," starring Harrison Ford, and a series of video games, published by Ubisoft Entertainment SA.

Ford and actors Alec Baldwin and Ben Affleck played Jack Ryan, one of Clancy's most famous characters, on the big screen.   Continued...

Novelist Tom Clancy is shown in this February 5, 1998 file photo. REUTERS/Eric Miller/Files