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Tom Clancy was an American bestselling author and historian known for his detailed storytelling. This article provides detailed information about his childhood, life, works, literary career, achievements and timeline.

Quick Facts

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Also Known As
Thomas Leo Clancy
Famous as
Novelist
Nationality
political ideology
Conservative and Republican
Born on
12 April 1947 AD
Birthday
Died At Age
66
Sun Sign
Aries    Aries Men
Born in
Baltimore County, Maryland, United States of America
Died on
01 October 2013 AD
Personality Type
City, States, Provinces & Districts
Spouse/Partner
Alexandra Marie Llewellyn (m. 1999) Wanda Thomas (m. 1969–1999)
education
Loyola Blakefield, Loyola College
Founder/Co-Founder
Rotary Rocket
awards
1990 - Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement from the Navy League of the United States
Tom Clancy
Credit Tom Clancy at Burns Library, Boston College.jpg. by Gary Wayne Gilbert - Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Innate storytelling ability, witty dialogues, realistic characters, exhaustive and meticulous description are few of the trademark signs of Tom Clancy’s novels. A master of fiction and non-fiction, he was responsible for conceiving the character of Jack Ryan. An insurance agent by profession, Clancy’s love for writing was a long cherished one. He started writing novels in his pastime soon turning his hobby into his passion and eventually his career. Right from his debut novel, he was a huge hit among the readers and the critics alike. His first novel, ‘The Hunt for Red October’ gave the readers a perfect example of his distinctive writing style and inherent storytelling skills. The work was much appreciated by the then US President Ronald Reagan as well, who commented it to be “my kind of yarn”. The compliment was enough to boost the sales of the book which zoomed to 300,000 hardcover and 2 million paperback copies. Over the years, about seventeen of his novels achieved the bestselling status with more than 100 million of his books in print. He was responsible for expanding and redefining the genre of fiction. Most of his novels have been developed into television series, films and video games.

Childhood & Early Life
  • Tom Clancy was born on April 12, 1947 to Thomas and Catherine Clancy in Baltimore, Maryland. He was second of the three children born to the couple. His mother worked in a store’s credit department, while his father was employed at the United States Postal Service.
  • He attained his formal education from Catherine Loyola Blakefield in Towson, Maryland. Completing the same in 1965, he enrolled at the Loyola College for a degree in English Literature.
  • It was during his years at the university that he applied to work at the Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps, his lifelong dream. However, his poor vision made him ineligible for the same.
  • After completing his graduation in 1969, he worked for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1973, he was recruited by the O. F Bowen Agency, an insurance agency. Seven years later, he bought the agency.
Career
  • His trysts with writing commenced while he was working at the insurance agency. In 1982, he formally began his writing career with the novel, ‘The Hunt For Red October’, which was completed in 1984 and published under Naval Institute Press. The book introduced the fictitious character of Jack Ryan.
  • The book was well received by the audience initially. Much against his expectations of selling 5000 copies, ‘The Hunt for Red October’ went past the 45,000 mark thus becoming a hit. However, the best was yet to come.
  • With President Ronal Reagan praising ‘The Hunt for Red October’, the sales of the book achieved a new high and ended up becoming a national bestseller, selling 300,000 hardcover and 2 million paperback copies.
  • After the success of the book, he became a sought-after name in the literary circle. He was praised by critics and the like for his technical know-how and the accuracy that he brought down to the paper.
  • Post the extravagant success of his debut novel, his insurance career took a backseat as he focussed more on writing. His next novel ‘Red Storm Rising’ was published in 1986.
  • In 1987, he came up with the novel, ‘Patriot Games’ which brought to the forefront the character of Jack Ryan, first witnessed in his debut book. The book though released later, facts pre-dated ‘The Hunt for Red October’.
  • In 1988, he published a sequel of his book, titled, ‘The Cardinal of Kremlin’. The book introduced the characters of Jack Clark, Sergey Golovko, Major Alan Gregory and Colonel Bondareko.
  • In 1989, he published the book, ‘Clear and Present Danger’, which was the subsequent book in the Jack Ryan universe. It was followed by ‘The Sum Of All Fears’ in 1991.
  • In 1993, he came up with his next piece of work, ‘Without Remorse’. Technically revolving around the period of 1969 and 1973, the book is the first in the Jack Ryan series and an anterior to ‘Patriot Games’ and ‘he Hunt for Red October’.
  • Year 1993 also witnessed him moving from the genre of fiction to non-fiction with his first book, ‘Submarine: A Guided Tour Inside a Nuclear Warship’ being released. Throughout his career, he continued writing non-fiction works as well that provided an in-depth detail about the various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • From 1994 until 1996, he released three books, two of which are follow-ups of the Jack Ryan universe. ‘Debt of Honor’, released in 1994, was immediately followed by its sequel ‘Executive Orders’ in 1996. The same year, he released ‘SSN: Strategies for Submarine Warfare’ which was not a part of the Ryan universe.
  • Meanwhile, in 1995, he along with Steve Pieczenik created the novel series Op-Center, which was penned by Jeff Rovin. The series had a total of 12 books, with ‘Tom Clancy’s Op-Center’ being its first one.
  • In 1998, he returned to the Ryan universe with the novel, ‘Rainbow Six’. The following year, he along with Steve Pieczenik created the Net Force series which was written by Steve Perry. The series, based in 2010, maps the actions of Net Force, a special division of the FBI set up to combat increasing crime on the internet. The Net Force series had a total of 10 books under it.
  • In 2002, he published a follow-up of the Ryan’s universe titled, “The Bear and the Dragon’. ‘The Teeth of the Tiger’, which was next to follow in 2006, introduced the characters of Jack Ryan’s son, Jack Ryan Jr and his nephews.
  • He released three more books from the series, titled, ‘Dead or Alive, published in 2010, ‘Locked On’ in 2011 and ‘Threat Vector’ in 2012. Meanwhile, apart from the Jack Ryan series, he published the work, ‘Against All Enemies’, which revolves around a fictitious plot of terrorist bombing in Pakistan.
  • In December 2013, ‘Command Authority’, the next novel in the Jack Ryan universe, was released.
Major Works
  • He was a master of fiction and was responsible for conceiving the character of Jack Ryan. Most of his works have been adapted into television series, films and video games. Each of his penned books has met with grand reception, making him worth USD $190 million.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • He married twice in his lifetime. The first was to Wanda Thomas King, an eye surgeon in 1969. The couple was blessed with four children. They parted ways in 1996, legally separating only in 1999.
  • Six months after his divorce from his first wife, he tied the knot with freelance journalist Alexandra Marie Llewellyn. The two first met in 1997. They were blessed with a daughter. They remained together until his death in October 2013.
  • He breathed his last on October 1, 2013, of an undisclosed illness at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Trivia
  • Interestingly, this famous American author of military fiction and non-fiction, immensely popular ever since his first novel, ‘The Hunt For Red October’, never had any kind of military or government occupation or experience.

See the events in life of Tom Clancy in Chronological Order

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