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Tom Clancy Dies: Author of Best-Selling Military Thrillers Was 66

Image: Tom Clancy Dies: Author of Best-Selling Military Thrillers Was 66

By Alexandra Ward   |   Wednesday, 02 Oct 2013 10:59 AM

Tom Clancy, the American writer who started out as a best-selling military thriller author and later created a video game empire, died Tuesday night at a Baltimore hospital. He was 66.

Publisher Penguin Group (USA) confirmed Clancy's passing but did not provide a cause of death.

Clancy was a steadfast conservative who spoke his mind. Clancy often credited President Ronald Reagan with first putting him on the New York Times best-seller list. The president reportedly once quipped that he was losing sleep because he couldn’t put down Clancy's first novel — 1984's "The Hunt for Red October."

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Born in Baltimore on April 12, 1947, Clancy went on to graduate from Loyola College with a degree in English. He got his start as an insurance salesman before making a name for himself as an author.

Clancy penned many a best-seller, including "Patriot Games," "Clear and Present Danger," and "The Sum of All Fears" – all of which were later turned into major motion pictures.

"He was a consummate author, creating the modern-day thriller, and was one of the most visionary storytellers of our time," Penguin Group (USA)'s executive David Shanks said in a statement Wednesday.

In 1996, he co-founded the video game developer Red Storm Entertainment, and his name appeared on many of the company's games, including Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon.

Clancy was a longtime member of the National Rifle Association and also a part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles, according to the New York Times.

Clancy's fans took to Twitter to remember the author Wednesday.

Clancy's last project, "Command Authority," is scheduled to be published in December, The Huffington Post reported. 

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