Author Tom Clancy, renowned for his stellar body of work in the espionage genre, has passed away at the age of 66, the writer’s agent has confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. The literary great died on Tuesday night at a Baltimore hospital close to his hometown, though the cause of death isn’t available at the time of writing.
Born in 1947, Tom Clancy established his early career around a series of crime novels; with blockbuster stories such as The Hunt for Red October, Clear and Present Danger and The Patriot Games all making the translation to the big screen in the early 90s. His stories orbited around a multitude of covert operations in the wake of the Cold War, and the American novelist sold approximately 1.6 million copies of the aforementioned Clear and Present Danger in 1989; which positions it as the highest-selling work of fiction of the 1980s.
Recently, though, the author has had an enormous impact on the video games industry; with the Tom Clancy series widely considered to be one of Ubisoft’s flagship properties, having shipped 22 million copies as of 2010. From Ghost Recon to Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six to HAWX, Clancy’s gaming library is a cornerstone of the action genre.
Perhaps his most famous creation, though, is the fictional character of Jack Ryan. The CIA agent has been portrayed by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and, more recently, Chris Pine for the forthcoming adaptation, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which is slated for release later this year. The fourth rendition will be directed by British thesp Kenneth Branagh and will also star Keira Knightley and Kevin Costner.
To Tom Clancy, may he rest in peace.