5 Things to Know About the Late Great Tom Clancy

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The world has lost one of its most prolific, beloved authors. Tom Clancy, the man who arguably created a genre of writing, has passed away at the age of 66. His work has not only been read by millions of people around the globe, but also been the inspiration for plural films and for hugely successful video game franchises. Clancy was a regular fixture on television programs about military matters of all types and was a tireless advocate for the men and women of America’s armed forces. To put it another way, he was awesome, and he left us far too early.

5 Tom Clancy “Authored” More Than One Hundred Books

But we can’t exactly say he wrote that many books, even though his name appeared on them. As Clancy became a firmly established writer, he often began to collaborate with other writers. Often, Clancy’s name and that of his co-author would appear on the cover of the book, but he is also known to have frequently relied on ghost writers. Thus it is actually impossible to know for sure just how many books Tom Clancy himself wrote.

4 Clancy Once Negotiated a Series of Book Deals Worth Almost $100 Million

In 1997, as the first step toward a massive payday, Clancy signed on with the Pearson Publishing corporation, agreeing to write two books for fifty million dollars, an astounding sum in the publishing world. To this was added an additional $25 million dollar deal for four more titles over the next half decade. Clancy then agreed to pen (or at least lend his name) to a series of two dozen paperback thrillers with another press, Berkley Books. This was tied into a television deal, all of it valued at $22 million, bringing his overall earnings in less than five years to around $97 million.

3 Four Actors Have Played Clancy’s Main Character, Jack Ryan

Jack Ryan is one of literature’s most famous characters. The former naval officer who became a CIA operative and pretty much single handedly saved the world multiple times was first played by Alec Baldwin in the 1990 blockbuster “The Hunt for the Red October.” Harrison Ford next played Ryan in two films, “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger.” Then it was Ben Affleck’s turn in 2002’s “The Sum of All Fears.” Chris Pine will reprise the role in the upcoming film “Jack Ryan: Shadow One,” a film that has been in the works for more than half a decade now.

2 Clancy’s Writing Seems to Have Foretold of a 9/11-Like Plot

Much will surely be said in the coming days about how Clancy “predicted the 9/11 attacks.” He did not. But one of his books, 1994’s “Debt of Honor” does feature a jetliner crashed into the U.S. capitol building. It is a chilling coincidence, but nothing more. The more important thing to note about Clancy and 9/11 is that after the attacks he boldly and nobly defended Islam as a whole, condemning only those extremists who misunderstood their own religion’s teachings.

1 Tom Clancy Video Games Are a Billion Dollar Business

Video games produced under his Red Storm Entertainment company and bearing Tom Clancy’s name have sold so many copies that their sales are greater than the annual Gross Domestic Product of some nations. Franchises such as the “Rainbow 6,” “Ghost Recon” and “Splinter Cell” series are success stories almost unmatched in the gaming world. Each title features multiple games, each of which have sold millions of copies. For example, the “Rainbow Six” follow-up title “Rainbow Six: Vegas” alone has sold 1.22 million units as of this writing.

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