Thomas Leo Clancy Jr. (April 12, 1947 – October 1, 2013) was an American novelist best known for his technically detailed espionage and military-science storylines set during and after the Cold War. Seventeen of his novels were bestsellers, and more than 100 million copies of his books are in print. His name was also used on movie scripts written by ghostwriters, nonfiction books on military subjects, and video games. He was a part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles and vice-chairman of their community activities and public affairs committees.
Clancy's literary career began in 1984 when he sold The Hunt for Red October for $5,000. His works The Hunt for Red October (1984), Patriot Games (1987), Clear and Present Danger (1989), and The Sum of All Fears (1991) have been turned into commercially successful films. Actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, Chris Pine, and John Krasinski have played Clancy's most famous fictional character, Jack Ryan. Another well-known character of his, John Clark, has been portrayed by actors Willem Dafoe and Liev Schreiber. Tom Clancy's works also inspired games such as the Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, and Splinter Cell series. Clancy died on October 1, 2013. Since his death, his Jack Ryan series has been continued by his family estate through a series of authors.
Clancy at Boston College's Burns Library in November 1989
|Born||Thomas Leo Clancy Jr.|
April 12, 1947
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Died||October 1, 2013 (aged 66)|
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Alma mater||Loyola College (BA)|
Clancy was born on April 12, 1947, at Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and grew up in the Northwood neighborhood in northeast Baltimore. He was the second of three children to Thomas Clancy, who worked for the United States Postal Service, and Catherine Clancy, who worked in a store's credit department. His mother worked to send him to the private Roman Catholic secondary school taught by the Jesuit religious order (Society of Jesus), Loyola High School in Towson, Maryland, the suburban county seat of Baltimore County, just north of the city, from which he graduated in 1965. He then attended the associated Loyola College (now Loyola University Maryland) in Baltimore, graduating in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in English literature. While at Loyola University, he was president of the chess club. He joined the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps; however, he was ineligible to serve due to his myopia (nearsightedness), which required him to wear thick eyeglasses. After graduating, he worked for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1973, he joined the O. F. Bowen Agency, a small insurance agency based in Owings, Maryland, founded by his wife's grandfather. In 1980, he purchased the insurance agency from his wife's grandmother and wrote novels in his spare time. While working at the insurance agency, he wrote his debut novel, The Hunt for Red October (1984).
Clancy's literary career began in 1982 when he started writing The Hunt for Red October, which in 1984 he sold for publishing to the Naval Institute Press for $5,000. The publisher was impressed with the work; Deborah Grosvenor, the Naval Institute Press editor who read through the book, said later that she convinced the publisher: "I think we have a potential best seller here, and if we don’t grab this thing, somebody else would." She believed Clancy had an "innate storytelling ability, and his characters had this very witty dialogue". The publisher requested Clancy to cut numerous technical details, amounting to about 100 pages. Clancy, who had wanted to sell 5,000 copies, ended up selling over 45,000. After publication, the book received praise from President Ronald Reagan, who called the work "the best yarn", subsequently boosting sales to 300,000 hardcover and 2 million paperback copies of the book, making it a national bestseller. The book was critically praised for its technical accuracy, which led to Clancy's meeting several high-ranking officers in the U.S. military.
Clancy's fiction works, The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games (1987), Clear and Present Danger (1989), and The Sum of All Fears (1991), have been turned into commercially successful films with actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck as Clancy's most famous fictional character, Jack Ryan; his second most famous character, John Clark, has been played by actors Willem Dafoe and Liev Schreiber. All but two of Clancy's solely written novels feature Jack Ryan or John Clark.
The Cold War epic Red Storm Rising (1986) was co-written (according to Clancy in the book's foreword) with fellow military-oriented author Larry Bond. The book was published by Putnam and sold almost a million copies within its first year. Clancy became the cornerstone of a publishing list by Putnam which emphasized authors like Clancy who would produce annually. His publisher, Phyllis E. Grann, called these "repeaters."
By 1988, Clancy had earned $1.3 million for The Hunt for Red October and had signed a $3 million contract for his next three books. By 1997, Penguin Putnam Inc. (part of Pearson Education) reportedly paid Clancy $50 million for world rights to two new books and another $25 million to Red Storm Entertainment for a four-year book/multimedia deal. Clancy followed this up with an agreement with Penguin's Berkley Books for 24 paperbacks to tie in with the ABC television miniseries Tom Clancy's Net Force aired in the fall/winter of 1998. The Op-Center universe has laid the ground for the series of books written by Jeff Rovin, which was in an agreement worth $22 million, bringing the total value of the package to $97 million.
In 1993, Clancy joined a group of investors that included Peter Angelos, and bought the Baltimore Orioles from Eli Jacobs. In 1998, he reached an agreement to purchase the Minnesota Vikings, but had to abandon the deal because of a divorce settlement cost.
The first NetForce novel, titled Net Force (1999), was adapted as a 1999 TV movie starring Scott Bakula and Joanna Going. The first Op-Center novel (Tom Clancy's Op-Center published in 1995) was released to coincide with a 1995 NBC television miniseries of the same name starring Harry Hamlin and a cast of stars. Though the miniseries did not continue, the book series did, but later had little in common with the first TV miniseries other than the title and the names of the main characters.
Clancy wrote several nonfiction books about various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces (see nonfiction listing, below). He also branded several lines of books and video games with his name that are written by other authors, following premises or storylines generally in keeping with Clancy's works.
With the release of The Teeth of the Tiger (2003), Clancy introduced Jack Ryan's son and two nephews as main characters; these characters continued in his last four novels, Dead or Alive (2010), Locked On (2011), Threat Vector (2012), and Command Authority (2013).
In 2008, the French video game manufacturer Ubisoft purchased the use of Clancy's name for an undisclosed sum. It has been used in conjunction with video games and related products such as movies and books. Based on his interest in private spaceflight and his US$1 million investment in the launch vehicle company Rotary Rocket, Clancy was interviewed in 2007 for the documentary film Orphans of Apollo (2008).
A long-time proponent of conservative and Republican views, Clancy dedicated books to American conservative political figures, most notably Ronald Reagan. A week after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, on The O'Reilly Factor, Clancy suggested that left-wing politicians in the United States were partly responsible for the attacks due to their "gutting" of the Central Intelligence Agency.
On September 11, 2001, Clancy was interviewed by Judy Woodruff on CNN. During the interview, he asserted "Islam does not permit suicide." Among other observations during this interview, Clancy cited discussions he had with military experts on the lack of planning to handle a hijacked plane being used in a suicide attack and criticized the news media's treatment of the United States Intelligence Community. Clancy appeared again on PBS's Charlie Rose, to discuss the implications of the day's events with Richard Holbrooke, New York Times journalist Judith Miller, and Senator John Edwards, among others. Clancy was interviewed on these shows because his book Executive Orders (1996) included a scenario wherein a disgruntled Japanese airline pilot crashes a fueled Boeing 747 into the U.S. Capitol dome during an address by the President to a joint session of Congress, killing the President and most of Congress.
Clancy's first wife, Wanda Thomas King, was a nursing student who became an ophthalmologist. They married in 1969, and had four children: daughters Michelle, Christine, and Kathleen; son Thomas Leo III. The couple separated briefly in 1995, and permanently separated in December 1996. Clancy filed for divorce in November 1997, which became final in January 1999.
On June 26, 1999, Clancy married freelance journalist Alexandra Marie Llewellyn, whom he had met in 1997. Llewellyn is the daughter of J. Bruce Llewellyn and a family friend of Colin Powell, who originally introduced the couple to each other. They remained together until Clancy's death in October 2013. The two had one daughter.
Clancy's 80-acre estate, which was once a summer camp, is located in Calvert County, Maryland. It has a panoramic view of the Chesapeake Bay. The stone mansion, which cost $2 million, has 24 rooms and features a shooting range in the basement. The property also features a World War II-era M4 Sherman tank, a Christmas gift from his first wife.
Clancy also purchased a 17,000 square foot penthouse condominium in the Ritz-Carlton, in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, for $16 million. Clancy and his wife combined four units to create the apartment.
As of November 2018, both properties are listed for sale by his estate.
Clancy died of heart failure on October 1, 2013, at Johns Hopkins Hospital, near his Baltimore home. The Chicago Tribune quoted Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stephen Hunter as saying, "When he published The Hunt for Red October, he redefined and expanded the genre and as a consequence of that, many people were able to publish such books who had previously been unable to do so."
John D. Gresham, a co-author and researcher with Clancy on several books, attributed Clancy's death to heart problems: "Five or six years ago Tom suffered a heart attack and he went through bypass surgery. It wasn’t that he had another heart attack, his heart just wore out."
|1990||The Hunt for Red October||John McTiernan||The book|
|1992||Patriot Games||Phillip Noyce||The book|
|1994||Clear and Present Danger||Phillip Noyce||The book|
|1995||Tom Clancy's Op Center||Lewis Teague||The series||114-minute action/political thriller which was edited-down from a 170-minute, 4-hour TV mini-series of the same name that aired in two parts on NBC in February 1995.|
|1999||NetForce||Robert Lieberman||The series||TV Movie, Based on the Tom Clancy's Net Force series of novels created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik|
|2002||The Sum of All Fears||Phil Alden Robinson||The book|
|2014||Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit||Kenneth Branagh||Based on characters created by Clancy|
|2018–present||Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan||Carlton Cuse||An American action political thriller web television series, based on characters from the fictional "Ryanverse", that premiered on August 31, 2018 on Amazon Video.|
'I've had [sex scenes] in my books before, but you had to look real fast because, you know, I’m a married Catholic and I don’t do that,' said Clancy.
Clear and Present Danger is a 1994 American spy thriller film directed by Phillip Noyce and based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name. It was preceded by the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October and the 1992 film Patriot Games, all three featuring Clancy's character Jack Ryan. It is the last film version of Clancy's novels to feature Harrison Ford as Ryan and James Earl Jones as Vice Admiral James Greer, as well as the final installment directed by Noyce.
As in the novel, Ryan is appointed CIA Acting Deputy Director, and discovers he is being kept in the dark by colleagues who are conducting a covert war against a drug cartel in Colombia, apparently with the approval of the President. The film premiered in theaters in the United States on August 3, 1994, and was a major financial success, earning over $200 million at the box office.Debt of Honor
Debt of Honor is a techno-thriller novel, written by Tom Clancy and released on August 17, 1994. A direct sequel to The Sum of All Fears (1991), Jack Ryan becomes the National Security Advisor when a secret cabal of Japanese industrialists seize control of their country’s government and wage war on the United States. The book debuted at number one on The New York Times bestseller list. The novel later became well-known for foreshadowing the September 11 attacks.Executive Orders
Executive Orders is a techno-thriller novel, written by Tom Clancy and released on July 1, 1996. It picks up immediately where the final events of Debt of Honor (1994) left off, and features now-U.S. President Jack Ryan as he tries to deal with foreign and domestic threats. The book is dedicated to former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who had been responsible for Clancy's worldwide success as a novelist. The book debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list.Jack Ryan (character)
John Patrick Ryan, Sr. is a fictional character created by author Tom Clancy and featured in his Ryanverse novels, which have consistently topped the New York Times bestseller list over 30 years. Since Clancy’s death in 2013, four other authors have continued the Ryan franchise and its other connecting series with the approval of the Clancy family estate: Mark Greaney, Grant Blackwood, Mike Maden, and Marc Cameron.The son of a Baltimore police detective and a nurse, Jack Ryan is a former U.S. Marine and stockbroker who becomes a civilian history professor at the United States Naval Academy. Ryan later joins the Central Intelligence Agency as an analyst and occasional field officer, eventually leaving it as Deputy Director. He later served as National Security Advisor and Vice President before suddenly becoming President of the United States following a terrorist attack on the United States Capitol. Ryan went on to serve two non-consecutive terms and mostly dealt with international crises in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
Jack Ryan has been portrayed in Clancy’s film adaptations of four of his novels by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck. In 2014, a reboot of the film series, titled Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, starred Chris Pine. The Jack Ryan film series have an unadjusted worldwide gross revenue of $788.4 million to date, making it the 57th highest-grossing film series. John Krasinski is the latest actor to play Ryan, in the Amazon Prime web television series of the same name, which premiered on August 30, 2018.John Clark (Tom Clancy character)
John T. Clark (real name John Terence Kelly) is a fictional character created by Tom Clancy. Clark is Clancy’s second most famous character after Jack Ryan, and has been featured in many of his Ryanverse novels. Although he first appeared in The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1987), his origin story was detailed in Without Remorse (1993).
Clark has been described by his creator as "Ryan’s dark side" and "more inclined to take physical action than Jack is." A former Navy SEAL, he became an operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, and at one point served as Ryan’s driver and bodyguard. During Ryan's first term as president of the United States, Clark served as director of a multinational counter-terrorism unit code-named Rainbow, which is composed of elite soldiers from countries part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. After retiring from CIA and Rainbow, he then worked for The Campus, an off-the-books intelligence organization created by President Ryan, later acquiring a higher position as director of operations.
On the big screen, Clark has been portrayed by Willem Dafoe and Liev Schreiber. Michael B. Jordan is slated to be the latest to play the character in his own film series, which will include adaptations of Without Remorse and Rainbow Six. Clark has also appeared in the Rainbow Six series of video games.Mark Greaney (novelist)
Mark Greaney (born 1967) is an American novelist, best known as Tom Clancy's collaborator on his final books (3 novels), and for continuing the Jack Ryan character and the Tom Clancy universe following Clancy's death from 2013 to 2016 (4 novels). He is also well known for the Gray Man series of novels.Patriot Games (film)
Patriot Games is a 1992 American spy thriller film directed by Phillip Noyce and based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name. It is a sequel to the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, but with different actors in the leading roles, Harrison Ford starring as Jack Ryan and Anne Archer as his wife. James Earl Jones is the lone holdover, reprising his role as Admiral James Greer. The cast also includes Sean Bean, Patrick Bergin, Thora Birch, Samuel L. Jackson, James Fox, and Richard Harris.
The film premiered in theaters in the United States on June 5, 1992 and spent two weeks as the No. 1 film, grossing $178,051,587 in worldwide box office business. The next installment in the film series, Clear and Present Danger, also starred Ford and Archer.Red Rabbit
Red Rabbit is a spy thriller novel, written by Tom Clancy and released on August 5, 2002. The plot occurs a few months after the events of Patriot Games (1987), and incorporates the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. Main character Jack Ryan, now an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, takes part in the extraction of a Soviet defector who knows of a KGB plot to kill the pontiff. The book debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Seller list.Red Storm Rising
Red Storm Rising is a war novel, written by Tom Clancy and co-written with Larry Bond, and released on August 7, 1986. Set in the mid-1980s, it features a Third World War between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Warsaw Pact forces, and is unique for depicting the conflict as being fought exclusively with conventional weapons, rather than escalating to the use of weapons of mass destruction or nuclear warfare. It is one of two Clancy novels, including SSN (1996), that are not set in the Ryanverse.
The book debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. It eventually lent its name to game development company Red Storm Entertainment, which Clancy co-founded in 1997.Ryanverse
Ryanverse (or Ryaniverse) refers to the fictional universe created by Tom Clancy featuring Jack Ryan and other characters, such as John Clark and Domingo Chavez.The Cardinal of the Kremlin
The Cardinal of the Kremlin is an espionage thriller novel, written by Tom Clancy and released on May 20, 1988. A direct sequel to The Hunt for Red October (1984), it features CIA analyst Jack Ryan as he extracts CARDINAL, the agency's highest placed agent in the Soviet government who is being pursued by the KGB, as well as the Soviet intelligence agency's director. The novel also features the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a real-life missile-defense system developed by the United States during that time, and its Russian counterpart. The book debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list.The Hunt for Red October
The Hunt for Red October is the debut novel by Tom Clancy, first published on October 1, 1984 by the Naval Institute Press. It depicts Soviet submarine captain Marko Ramius as he seemingly goes rogue with his country's cutting-edge ballistic missile submarine Red October, and marks the first appearance of Clancy's most popular fictional character Jack Ryan, an analyst working for the Central Intelligence Agency, as he must prove his theory that Ramius had intended to defect to the United States. The book was loosely inspired by the mutiny on the Soviet frigate Storozhevoy in 1975.The Hunt for Red October launched Clancy's successful career as a novelist, especially after then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan remarked that he had enjoyed reading the book. A namesake film adaptation was released on March 2, 1990, and several computer and video games based on the book have been developed. Since then, the book has become instrumental in bringing the book genre of techno-thriller into the mainstream.The Teeth of the Tiger
The Teeth of the Tiger is a thriller novel, written by Tom Clancy and released on August 11, 2003. Set in a post-9/11 world, it is the first book to feature The Campus, a covert intelligence agency created by President Jack Ryan before the end of his term as chief executive. While he does not appear in the book, his son Jack Ryan Jr., as well as his nephews Dominic and Brian Caruso, are featured as The Campus operatives. The book debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and would become Clancy's last solely written novel before a seven-year break from writing fiction.Tom Clancy's
Tom Clancy's is a branding used by video game company Ubisoft for video games, some of which featuring the works of American author Tom Clancy while a majority of the games are unrelated to Clancy's work. The various sub-series are unrelated to each other, although most are shooters in modern or near-future military settings.Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon is a series of military tactical shooter video games published by Ubisoft. In the series, the player is in charge of a fictional, newly conceived squad of U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers from Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (5th SFG) stationed at Fort Bragg. Except for the "1st Battalion, 5th SFG" designation, this reconnaissance unit is entirely fictional, as Special Forces Battalions currently only support three Companies (A, B and C). They are often referred to as "the Ghosts". Their role is not unlike other real world special operations forces, in that their operations are kept highly classified. In Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, it is shown that the Ghost's unit has multiple designations and is part of JSOC and is also known as the Group for Specialized Tactics (or GST—where the term "Ghost" comes from) much like real JSOC units like Delta Force (1st SFOD-D or CAG) and SEAL Team Six (or DEVGRU). Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon has also been novelized by Grant Blackwood under the pseudonym David Michaels.Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X is a arcade flight video game developed by Ubisoft Bucharest and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and by Gameloft for BlackBerry PlayBook, iOS, Palm Pre, Android and Symbian^3. It was released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in North America on March 3, 2009, for Windows on March 17, for iOS on December 9, for BlackBerry on January 8, 2010, for Palm Pre on April 2, for Android on September 13, and for Symbian on January 16, 2011. A Wii version was announced, but was ultimately canceled. In September 2010, a sequel titled Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 was released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The Microsoft Windows and Wii versions were released in November 2010. In November 2018, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X was added to the Xbox One's Backwards Compatibility list although only through physical media as it's not available on the Xbox Marketplace. The story of the game takes place during the time of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2. H.A.W.X is set in the near future where private military companies have essentially replaced government-run military in many countries. The player is placed in the shoes of David Crenshaw; an elite ex-United States Air Force pilot who was recruited by one of these corporations, fighting whomever and whenever he is told to. Crenshaw later returns to the Air Force together with his team, trying to prevent the PMC from initiating a full-scale attack on the United States.
H.A.W.X received mixed reviews from critics.Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six is a media franchise created by American author Tom Clancy about a fictional international counter-terrorist unit called "Rainbow". The franchise began with Clancy's novel Rainbow Six, which was adapted into a series of tactical first-person shooter video games.Tom Clancy's SSN
Tom Clancy's SSN is a simulation video game of the 688i (Improved Los Angeles-class nuclear hunter/killer submarine). The game player is in command of USS Cheyenne in a limited war against China over the Spratly Islands. Gameplay is limited to a 15 mission single-player campaign in which the player carries out anti-submarine, anti-surface ship roles, intelligence gathering activities, and the launch of submarine based cruise missiles. Tom Clancy also wrote a book by the same name as a tie-in.
SSN is also the title of a board wargame published by Game Designer's Workshop in 1975, and was the first attempt at a serious modern submarine and anti-submarine warfare simulation game published for the entertainment market. It was designed by Stephen Newberg and developed by Marc Miller.Tom Clancy bibliography
The following is a complete list of books published by Tom Clancy, an American author of contemporary spy fiction and military fiction.
Works by Tom Clancy
Tom Clancy's video games
|Rainbow Six series|
|Ghost Recon series|
|Splinter Cell series|
|Jack Ryan/Ryanverse series|
|The Division series|
Media franchises developed by Tom Clancy
Tom Clancy bibliography