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Celebrities / Technology PopWrapped | Celebrities

Best Selling Novelist, Tom Clancy, Has Passed Away At The Age Of 66

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author


10/02/2013 1:19 pm
PopWrapped | Celebrities
Best Selling Novelist, Tom Clancy, Has Passed Away At The Age Of 66
Media Courtesy of

Dani Strehle

Content Editor

Tom Clancy, 66, passed away on Tuesday at a Baltimore hospital according The New York Times. A cause of death has yet to be released. Clancy is best-known for his militaristic, heart-pounding novels; many of which were transitioned into successful film adaptations. Some examples of these films are Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games, and The Hunt for Red October. Clancy will also have a posthumous publication under his belt, as his newest creation, Command Authority, has a scheduled publication date of December 3. His last novel, Threat Victor, was released last December, and became his seventeenth number one book. Before Clancy sold The Hunt for Red October for a mere $5,000 to the Naval Institute Press, he was a low-level insurance salesman. The Naval Institute had never published a novel before, but something about Clancy’s vision caught their attention, and they reached out to him. They were concerned that the myriad technical terms would be too complex for a layperson to understand. Clancy dumbed it down a bit and cut about 100 pages. Clancy’s real success came when President Ronald Reagan stated that the book was “my kind of yarn” and that he could not tear himself away from it. Since that moment, Clancy has been hailed for his technical knowledge about weaponry, and specifically, Soviet submarines. It was reported that even high-ranking military officials took notice of the accurate descriptions. During a 1986 interview, Clancy stated, “When I met Navy Secretary John Lehman last year, the first thing he asked me about the book was, ‘Who the hell cleared it?’” I don’t know a single thing about weaponry or submarines, but that seems pretty serious to me. Clancy worked with Penguin Publishing for years, and David Shanks, an executive at Penguin, has called Clancy “a consummate author, creating the modern-day thriller, and one of the most visionary storytellers of our time.” When Clancy was a child, he eschewed typical childhood reading and skipped straight to historical non-fiction. He consumed everything he could about naval history and read and comprehended books and journals that were intended for engineers and military officials. His intelligence was off the charts. After high school, Clancy headed to Baltimore where he attended LoyolaCollege. He graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor’s in English. After acquiring his degree, to no one’s surprise, he wanted to join the military.  He signed up for R.O.T.C., but was later told that he was far too near-sighted to qualify for a position. With dashed dreams, Clancy began pounding the pavement for a family insurance company in Maryland.  Luckily, his vision problems did not hinder his ability to write, and write he did. Clancy garnered instantaneous success after October hit shelves. He spoke of how for him, success was gained by his militaristic discipline and focus. “I tell them you learn to write the same way you learn to play golf,” he said. “You do it, and keep doing it until you get it right. A lot of people think something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn’t divinely inspired — it’s hard work.” His novels were released in quick succession. After October’s release in 1985, it was quickly followed by Red Storm Rising in 1986, Patriot Games in 1987, The Cardinal of the Kremlin in 1988 and Clear and Present Danger in 1989. Each novel produced more critical acclaim than the last. In 1986, a New York Times reviewer stated that Red Storm Rising “far surpassed” October. That is was a “superpower thriller” and the “verbal equivalent of a high-tech video game.” Other reviewers were not so kind, questing the unshakeable values and morals of Clancy’s protagonists.   “All the Americans are paragons of courage, endurance and devotion to service and country. Their officers are uniformly competent and occasionally inspired. Men of all ranks are faithful husbands and devoted fathers,” mused Robert Lekachman of the Times. Perhaps he preferred a bit more realism in his characters. Clancy was accused on numerous occasions of divulging classified information in his work; an accusation that amused him highly, apparently. While Clancy was privy to more than a normal civilian- spending time at the Pentagon, military bases, and dining with high-ranking military officials- he was never privy to classified information. “I hang my hat on getting as many things right as I can. I’ve made up stuff that’s turned out to be real, that’s the spooky part,” Clancy said in an interview. You’re right, Mr. Clancy. That IS spooky. We at PopWrapped send our condolences to all that loved Clancy the man, and Clancy the novelist. He touched the lives of many. Rest in peace.  


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