Tom Clancy

Born 12, 1947 (1947-04-12) (age 71)
Baltimore County,
United States
Occupation Novelist
Nationality United States
Writing period 1984 - 2003
Genres Thriller,
Crime fiction

Thomas Leo Clancy Jr. (born April 12 1947), better known as Tom Clancy, is a US author of bestselling political thrillers, best known for his technically detailed espionage and military science storylines set during and in the aftermath of the Cold War. His name is also a brand for similar books written by ghost writers and a series of non-fiction books on warlike subjects and merged biographies of key leaders. He is also part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles, a Major League Baseball team. He officially is the Orioles' Vice Chairman of Community Activities and Public Affairs.


Thomas Leo Clancy Jr. was born in Calvert County, Maryland, United States, North America. He attended Loyola Blakefield in Towson, Maryland, graduating with the class of 1965. He went on to study English Literature at Loyola College in Baltimore, graduating with the class of 1968.[1] Before making his literary debut, he spent some time running an independent insurance agency.

Clancy married his first wife, Wanda, in the 1970s. After having four children together, they divorced in 1998.

In 1993, Tom Clancy joined a group of investors that included Peter Angelos and bought the Baltimore Orioles from Eli Jacobs. In 1998, he attempted to purchase the Minnesota Vikings and had a purchase agreement in place, but the deal fell through shortly after his divorce settlement greatly decreased his net worth.[citation needed]

On 26 June 1999, Clancy, at age 53, married freelance journalist Alexandra Marie Llewellyn, who at 32 years of age was 21 years his junior.[2]

In 2008, Clancy's name was purchased by Ubisoft for an undisclosed sum for the use in conjuction with video games and related products such as movies and books. [1]

Political views

Clancy has generally been regarded as a political conservative, and has donated over US$256,000 to Republican Party political candidates.[3]

After 9/11, Clancy was an early and, to many, surprising defender of Islam. He was interviewed on NBC later that day. Clancy has also associated himself with General Anthony Zinni, a critic of the Iraq War and the George W. Bush administration, and has been critical of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.[4] He was categorized as a northern paleoconservative.[5]


The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears have been turned into commercially successful films with actors Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, and Harrison Ford as Clancy's most famous fictional character Jack Ryan, while his second most famous character John Clark has been played by actors Willem Dafoe and Liev Schreiber. The first NetForce novel was adapted as a television movie, starring Scott Bakula and Joanna Going. The first Op-Center novel was released to coincide with a 1995 NBC television mini-series of the same name (Tom Clancy's Op-Center) starring Harry Hamlin and a cast of stars. Though the mini-series didn't continue the book series did, but it had little in common with the first mini-series other than the title and the names of the main characters.

The website IMDB reports that Tom Clancy's novel Without Remorse is to be made into a movie and is expected to be released in 2008. Filming is to commence in 2008. No other details were available as of 27 June 2007.

With the release of The Teeth of the Tiger, Clancy introduced Jack Ryan's son and two nephews as main characters. Presumably, he has retired Jack Ryan as a central character.

Clancy has written several nonfiction books about various branches of the U.S. armed forces (see non-fiction listing, below). Clancy has also branded several lines of books with his name that are written by other authors, following premises or storylines generally in keeping with Clancy's works:

These are sometimes referred to by fans as "apostrophe" books; Clancy did not initially acknowledge that these series were being authored by others, only thanking the actual authors in the headnotes for their "invaluable contribution to the manuscript".

In 1997, Clancy signed a book deal with Penguin Putnam Inc. (both part of Pearson Education), that paid him US$50 million for the world-English rights to two new books. He then signed a second agreement for another US$25 million for a four-year book/multimedia deal. Clancy followed this up with an agreement with Berkley Books for 24 paperbacks to tie in with the ABC television miniseries Tom Clancy's Net Force aired in the fall/winter of 1998. The OP-Center universe has laid the ground for the series of books written by Jeff Rovin, which was in an agreement worth US $22 million bringing the total value of the package to US$97 million.

All but two of Clancy's novels feature Jack Ryan or John Clark.

By publication date

  • Red Storm Rising (1986)
    War between NATO and USSR. The basis of the submarine combat game of the same name, this is not a member of the Ryan genre (although the protagonist of the story has many similarities with Jack Ryan). He co-wrote it with Larry Bond.
  • Patriot Games (1987)
    The third book that Clancy wrote, Patriot Games is second in chronological order. It begins with Jack Ryan in London, England. He foils an attack on the Prince and Princess of Wales by the ULA (Ulster Liberation Army - a small Irish terrorist organization like the IRA). Ryan is wounded in the process, and is treated like a hero while recovering (he is knighted by the Queen of England). During the attack, Ryan kills one of the terrorists and captures another, but the third escapes. Sean Miller, the one he captured, is sent to prison, but escapes with the help of the leader of the ULA, Kevin O'Donnell. They go to North Africa and there plot an attack against Jack Ryan. By now Ryan is back in the U.S., where the ULA has never operated. He is teaching at a Naval Academy, and there receives weapons training from a Marine Sergeant Major, just as a precaution. However, after his wife and four year old daughter are attacked by the ULA, Ryan quits his teaching job and joins the CIA. He helps plan a military raid against the ULA camp in North Africa, but it is unsuccessful. While they are traveling in the U.S., the Prince and Princess of Wales have dinner at Ryan's house. Naturally, there is extensive protection around the house, but no one thought that the ULA would use the treacherous cliffs by Ryan's house to their advantage. A three-pronged attack leaves Ryan's protection decimated. Also at dinner that night are Ryan's friend Robby Jackson and his wife Cecilia. All are caprured and held hostage except Robby, who was in the bathroom. He finds Ryan's Remington shotgun and rescues the six people (Ryan, Ryan's wife and daughter, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and Robby's wife). With one ULA prisoner, they make their way down the cliffs on ladders that the terrorists set up as the escape route. The ULA has two boats, and after a brief firefight Sean Miller escapes in one and Ryan and comapny go after him. Ryan stops at the Naval academy where he teaches, drops off the Princess, Cecilia, his daughter, and his pregnant wife, and enlists the help of a few squads of Marines and policemen. Miller gets to a larger ship that the ULA was going to use to get back to Ireland, but Ryan and the Marines find the ship, kill some men and capture the rest (Miller is captured and again imprisoned). Ryan's son was born at the Academy that night before he got back.

  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988)
    First appearance of John Clark and Sergey Golovko. Secret anti-satellite lasers (SDI), high-stakes diplomacy, spies and computer geeks (Major Gregory is introduced here and shown later as updating SAM software in The Bear and the Dragon).
  • Clear and Present Danger (1989)
    Drug war in Colombia involving American military forces in a covert war against the Medellín Cartel. Ryan and Clark finally meet; first appearance of Domingo "Ding" Chavez who is one of the scouts in the special forces teams and Clark's protege in later novels. The movie (1994) stars Harrison Ford as Ryan, Willem Dafoe as Clark and Raymond Cruz as Chavez.
  • The Sum of All Fears (1991)
    Israel loses a nuclear weapon, which Islamic terrorists use to ferment war between U.S. and Soviets, which is averted by Ryan in a cliffhanger. The 2002 movie stars Ben Affleck as Ryan, Liev Schreiber as Clark, and changes the identity and motivation of the terrorists to neo-Nazis.
  • Without Remorse (1993)
    Chronologically the first book featuring John Kelly/John Clark, detailing Clark's life before joining the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). One of Clancy's more recently written novels, Without Remorse is set during the Vietnam War, and deals mainly with the fight there and major drug trafficing back in the U.S. John Kelly (who is really John Clark before he got recruited into the CIA and had to have his name changed) - is a sort of underwater demolitions worker. He was formerly a Navy SEAL in Vietnam. Early on in the book, Kelly finds out that his girlfriend, a hitchhiker named Pamela who he picked up, was until recently a drug-addicted hooker, and now is on the run from her group of heroin-dealing pimps. However, Pamela is soon captured and killed by the pimps, and Kelly is badly injured during the kidnapping. After he recovers, Kelly goes undercover as a Baltimore street wino, and begins systematically killing drug dealers. Emmet Ryan, a Baltimore Police detective and father of then eighteen year old Jack Ryan, starts investigating these murders, but can turn up nothing due to Kelly's skill. While Kelly is in the middle of his search for Pam's killers, he is recruited by Admiral James Greer to help plan and execute a rescue mission of POW's in Vietnam. Kelly agrees, and begins training with a group of U.S. Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance troops. While he's not training, Kelly finds Billy, the drug dealer who was mainly responsible for Pam's death. He tortures Billy and gets imformation about the drug ring on the entire east coast, a corrupt cop in the Baltimore Police Narcotics section, and the names of more people in Billy's gruop. Kelly quickly destroys the whole operation. Back to Vietnam: Though Kelly and the Marines were more than ready to rescue the POW's, Kelly discovers that the camp has been alerted to their presence. This means that a mole high up in the American political system must have alerted the Vietnamese. Though the mission is immediately aborted, Kelly manages to capture a KGB officer who was interogating the POW's. The prisoner is eventually exchanged for the POW's. When Kelly gets back from Vietnam, he is asked by Admiral Greer to join the CIA. The only problem, though, is that Emmet Ryan is hot on Kelly's trail, who is wanted for at least ten murders. Kelly feigns his death, and the CIA officially makes him John Clark. As Clark, he finds the man responsible for alerting the Vietnamese POW camp. Clark forces the man to give himself a drug overdose so his death will not look like a murder. The book ends with the POW's being released.
  • Debt of Honor (1994)
    Ryan as National Security Advisor, and John Clark and Domingo Chavez as agents with Russian cover, help win a military and economic war with a nuclear-armed Japan. Golovko makes a cameo here. The Indian navy threatens Sri Lanka but invasion is prevented by two US carrier battle groups
  • Rainbow Six (1998)
    Released to coincide with the computer game of the same name. John Clark and Ding, who is now John's son-in-law, lead an elite multi-national anti-terrorist unit that combats a worldwide genocide attempt by eco-terrorists motivated by radical environmentalism and sponsored by a global biotechnology corporation and its 'Gates-like' founder. (Jack Ryan is the U.S. President and only mentioned or referred to as either 'The President' or 'Jack'.)
  • The Teeth of the Tiger (2003)
    Features the rise of Jack Ryan's son, Jack Ryan Jr., as an intelligence analyst, and then a field consultant, for The Campus, an off-the-books intelligence agency with the freedom to discreetly assassinate individuals "who threaten national security", following the retirement of Jack Sr. from the Presidency. Note: This is the latest book of the Jack Ryan series by Tom Clancy, introducing his son and his two nephews as heirs to his spook-legacy.

By series plot chronology

Jack Ryan/John Clark universe

* These books feature John Clark only, although Jack Ryan has a short conversation with his father in Without Remorse, and is also referenced to in Rainbow Six briefly a couple of times (as the US President and referred to only as 'Jack').

** This book features Jack Ryan only. John Clark is only referred to as a training officer at the CIA's field school.

*** This book features Ryan's son (Jack Ryan Jr.).

Listed in chronological order according to plot.

The novels The Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears have all been made into motion pictures. A movie version of Without Remorse is tentatively scheduled for a 2008 release, and a movie version of Rainbow Six is scheduled for a 2010 release.

Novels not in the series

Op-Center universe

NetForce universe

  • Net Force (1998) by Steve Perry
  • Hidden Agendas (1999) by Steve Perry
  • Night Moves (1999) by Steve Perry
  • Breaking Point (1999) by Steve Perry
  • Point of Impact (2001) by Steve Perry
  • CyberNation (2001) by Steve Perry
  • State of War (2003) by Steve Perry and Larry Segriff
  • Changing of the Guard (2003) by Steve Perry and Larry Segriff
  • Springboard (2004) by Steve Perry and Larry Segriff
  • The Archimedes Effect (2006) by Steve Perry and Larry Segriff

Young Adult

Power Plays universe

  • Politika (novel, 1997) by Jerome Preisler
  • Politika (computer game, 1997) by Red Storm Entertainment
  • (novel, 1998) by Jerome Preisler
  • (computer game, 1998) by Red Storm Entertainment
  • Shadow Watch (novel, 1999) by Jerome Preisler
  • Shadow Watch (computer game, 1999) by Red Storm Entertainment
  • Bio-Strike (novel, 2000) by Jerome Preisler
  • Cold War (novel, 2001) by Jerome Preisler
  • Cutting Edge (novel, 2002) by Jerome Preisler
  • Zero Hour (novel, 2003) by Jerome Preisler
  • Wild Card (novel, 2004) by Jerome Preisler

Splinter Cell universe


Guided Tour

Study in Command


  • The Tom Clancy Companion - Edited by Martin E. Greenberg - Writings by Clancy along with a concordance of all his fiction novels, detailing characters and military units or equipment.

Video games

In 1996, Clancy co-founded the computer game developer Red Storm Entertainment and ever since he has had his name on several of Red Storm's most successful games. Red Storm was later bought by publisher Ubisoft Entertainment, which continues to use the Clancy name. This game series includes

There were also video games based on the novel The Hunt for Red October and the film adaptation thereof. The two games were published by Grandslam Entertainment. The version based on the film was available on the ZX Spectrum, Amiga, Atari ST, IBM PC, Amstrad, Nintendo Entertainment System, Super NES and Game Boy systems, whereas the version based on the book was available on the Atari ST, Amiga, Amstrad 1512 pc, Amstrad CPC, Apple Macintosh, ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 systems. In 2002 and 2003 a video game based on the film version of The Sum of All Fears was released for the PC and Nintendo Gamecube system. All though very similar to the Rainbow Six games, The Sum Of All Fears was poorly received.

Many of the games bearing the Clancy name have been very successful, spawning several sequels and expansions. It is unknown how much input Clancy actually has into the games.

World news media is a fictional news network that had been feature in many Tom Clancy's video games.

Board games

  • The Hunt for Red October (1988)
    Naval wargame published by TSR, Inc., based on the novel of the same name. It covered modern naval warfare between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.


  • Clancy is one of only two authors to have sold two million copies on a first printing in the 1990s. (John Grisham is the other author.) Clancy's 1989 novel Clear and Present Danger sold 1,625,544 hardcover copies, making it the #1 bestselling novel of the 1980s.[4]
  • Clancy is an honorary Yeoman Warder of The Tower of London holding the title "Supernumerary Yeoman"[6]. On the television show Ace of Cakes his wife commissioned a special birthday cake in the shape of the Tower of London in acknowledgment of his status. On the episode, Tom Clancy referred to the Beefeaters as "Just a terrific bunch of guys". Clancy himself claims he does not visit London without stopping for some beer at the Yeoman Warder's Club.
  • Clancy owns part of the Baltimore Orioles.


See also

External links

Literary reviews and criticism