For other uses, see Thomas Clancy (disambiguation).
Thomas Leo Clancy Jr. (April 12, 1947 – October 1, 2013) was an American novelist best known for his technically detailed espionage and military-science storylines set during and after the Cold War. Seventeen of his novels were bestsellers, and more than 100 million copies of his books are in print. His name was also used on movie scripts written by ghostwriters, nonfiction books on military subjects, and video games. He was a part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles and vice-chairman of their community activities and public affairs committees.
Clancy's literary career began in 1984 when he sold The Hunt for Red October for $5,000. His works, The Hunt for Red October (1984), Patriot Games (1987), Clear and Present Danger (1989), and The Sum of All Fears (1991), have been turned into commercially successful films. Actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine have played Clancy's most famous fictional character, Jack Ryan. Another well-known character of his, John Clark, has been portrayed by actors Willem Dafoe and Liev Schreiber. Tom Clancy's works also inspired games such as the Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, and Splinter Cell series. Clancy died on October 1, 2013, of an undisclosed illness.
Early life and education
Clancy was born on April 12, 1947, at Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and grew up in the Northwood neighborhood. He was the second of three children to Thomas Clancy, who worked for the United States Postal Service, and Catherine Clancy, who worked in a store's credit department. His mother worked to send him to the private CatholicLoyola High School in Towson, Maryland, from which he graduated in 1965. He then attended Loyola College (now Loyola University) in Baltimore, graduating in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in English literature. While at university, he was president of the chess club. He joined the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps; however, he was ineligible to serve due to his nearsightedness, which required him to wear thick eyeglasses. After graduating, he worked for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1973, he joined the O. F. Bowen Agency, a small insurance agency based in Owings, Maryland, founded by his wife's grandfather. In 1980, he purchased the insurance agency from his wife's grandmother and wrote novels in his spare time. While working at the insurance agency, he wrote his debut novel, The Hunt for Red October (1984).
Clancy's literary career began in 1982 when he started writing The Hunt for Red October, which in 1984 he sold for publishing to the Naval Institute Press for $5,000. The publisher was impressed with the work; Deborah Grosvenor, the Naval Institute Press editor who read through the book, said later that she convinced the publisher: "I think we have a potential best seller here, and if we don’t grab this thing, somebody else would." She believed Clancy had an "innate storytelling ability, and his characters had this very witty dialogue". The publisher requested Clancy to cut numerous technical details, amounting to about 100 pages. Clancy, who had wanted to sell 5,000 copies, ended up selling over 45,000. After publication, the book received praise from President Ronald Reagan, who called the work "the best yarn", subsequently boosting sales to 300,000 hardcover and 2 million paperback copies of the book, making it a national bestseller. The book was critically praised for its technical accuracy, which led to Clancy's meeting several high-ranking officers in the U.S. military.
Clancy's fiction works, The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games (1987), Clear and Present Danger (1989), and The Sum of All Fears (1991), have been turned into commercially successful films with actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck 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. All but two of Clancy's solely written novels feature Jack Ryan or John Clark.
The Cold War epic Red Storm Rising (1986) was co-written (according to Clancy himself in the book's foreword) with fellow military-oriented author Larry Bond.
The first NetForce novel, titled Net Force (1999), was adapted as a 1999 TV movie starring Scott Bakula and Joanna Going. The first Op-Center novel (Tom Clancy's Op-Center published in 1995) was released to coincide with a 1995 NBC television miniseries of the same name starring Harry Hamlin and a cast of stars. Though the miniseries did not continue, the book series did, but later had little in common with the first TV miniseries other than the title and the names of the main characters.
With the release of The Teeth of the Tiger (2003), Clancy introduced Jack Ryan's son and two nephews as main characters; these characters continued in his last four novels, Dead or Alive (2010), Locked On (2011), Threat Vector (2012), and Command Authority (2013).
Clancy wrote several nonfiction books about various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces (see nonfiction listing, below). He also branded several lines of books and video games 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; he only thanked the actual authors in the headnotes for their "invaluable contribution to the manuscript".
By 1988, Clancy had earned $1.3 million for The Hunt for Red October and had signed a $3 million contract for his next three books. By 1997, Penguin Putnam Inc. (part of Pearson Education) reportedly would pay Clancy $50 million for world rights to two new books and another $25 million to Red Storm Entertainment for a four-year book/multimedia deal. Clancy followed this up with an agreement with Penguin'sBerkley 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 $22 million, bringing the total value of the package to $97 million.
In 1993, Clancy joined a group of investors that included Peter Angelos, and bought the Baltimore Orioles from Eli Jacobs. In 1998, he reached an agreement to purchase the Minnesota Vikings, but had to abandon the deal because of a divorce settlement cost.
In 2008, the French video game manufacturer Ubisoft purchased the use of Clancy's name for an undisclosed sum. It has been used in conjunction with video games and related products such as movies and books. Based on his interest in private spaceflight and his US$1 million investment in the launch vehicle company Rotary Rocket, Clancy was interviewed in 2007 for the documentary film Orphans of Apollo (2008).
A long-time proponent of conservative and Republican views, Clancy dedicated books to American conservative political figures, most notably Ronald Reagan. A week after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, on The O'Reilly Factor, Clancy suggested that left-wing politicians in the United States were partly responsible for the attacks due to their "gutting" of the Central Intelligence Agency.
On September 11, 2001, Clancy was interviewed by Judy Woodruff on CNN. During the interview, he asserted "Islamdoes not permit suicide." Among other observations during this interview, Clancy cited discussions he had with military experts on the lack of planning to handle a hijacked plane being used in a suicide attack and criticized the news media's treatment of the United States Intelligence Community. Clancy appeared again on PBS's Charlie Rose, to discuss the implications of the day's events with Richard Holbrooke, New York Times journalist Judith Miller, and Senator John Edwards, among others. Clancy was interviewed on these shows because his book Debt of Honor (1994) included a scenario wherein a disgruntled Japanese airline pilot crashes a fueled Boeing 747 into the U.S. Capitol dome during an address by the President to a joint session of Congress, killing the President and most of Congress.
Clancy's first wife, Wanda Thomas King, was a nursing student who became an ophthalmologist. They married in 1969 and had four children. The couple separated briefly in 1995, and permanently separated in December 1996. Clancy filed for divorce in November 1997, which became final in January 1999.
On June 26, 1999, Clancy married freelance journalist Alexandra Marie Llewellyn, whom he had met in 1997. Llewellyn is the daughter of J. Bruce Llewellyn and a family friend of Colin Powell, who originally introduced the couple to each other. They remained together until Clancy's death in October 2013. The two had one daughter.
Clancy was a Roman Catholic.
Clancy's 80-acre estate, which was once a summer camp, is located in Calvert County, Maryland. It has a panoramic view of the Chesapeake Bay. The stone mansion, which cost $2 million, has 24 rooms and features a shooting range in the basement. The property also features a World War II-era M4 Shermantank, a Christmas gift from his first wife.
Clancy also purchased a 17,000 square foot penthouse condominium in the Ritz-Carlton, in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, for $16 million. Clancy and his wife combined four units to create the apartment.
Clancy died on October 1, 2013, of an undisclosed illness, at Johns Hopkins Hospital, near his Baltimore home. The Chicago Tribune quoted Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stephen Hunter as saying, "When he published The Hunt for Red October, he redefined and expanded the genre and as a consequence of that, many people were able to publish such books who had previously been unable to do so."
John D. Gresham, a co-author and researcher with Clancy on several books, attributed Clancy's death to heart problems: "Five or six years ago Tom suffered a heart attack and he went through bypass surgery. It wasn’t that he had another heart attack, his heart just wore out."
Achievements and awards
In popular culture
- The BBC Radio 4sitcomDeep Trouble, set on a nuclear submarine, features a humorous version of Clancy as a recurring character. He is portrayed by Ben Willbond, co-writer of the series.
- On March 31, 2014, the Baltimore Orioles honored Tom Clancy and other members of the Orioles family who died since the previous season's opening day with a video tribute during the Orioles Opening Day festivities at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The team wore a name patch on the right jersey sleeve for Clancy throughout the 2014 season.
- On September 11, 2001, Clancy was interviewed by Judy Woodruff on CNN since the plot of one of his novels, Debt of Honor, resembled the attack on the World Trade Center
Main article: Tom Clancy bibliography
Film and television adaptations
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six (1998)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Eagle Watch (1999)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear (1999)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Urban Operations (2000)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Covert Operations Essentials (2000)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Black Thorn (2001)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lone Wolf (2002)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield (2003)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow (2004)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword (2004)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Iron Wrath (2005)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown (2005)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Critical Hour (2006)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas (2006)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 (2008)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard (2011)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (2015)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (2001)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Desert Siege (2002)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Island Thunder (2002)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm (2004)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 (2004)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2: Summit Strike (2005)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (2006)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (2007)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Predator (2010)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (2010)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars (2011)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (2012)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Phantoms (2014)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands (2017)
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (2002)
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (2004)
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (2005)
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Essentials (2006)
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent (2006)
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction (2010)
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist (2013)
- Tom Clancy's EndWar (2008)
- Tom Clancy's EndWar Online (Closed)
- Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X (2009)
- Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 (2010)
- Tom Clancy’s The Division (2016)
- Tom Clancy's ShadowBreak (2017)
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For the Rainbow Six franchise, see Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six.
Rainbow Six is a techno-thriller novel written by Tom Clancy. It focuses on John Clark, Ding Chavez, and a fictional multi-national counterterrorist unit codenamed Rainbow, rather than Jack Ryan and national politics. It has been adapted into a series of video games by the same name.
Several NATO countries have collectively organized an elite counter terrorist unit named Rainbow composed of the best soldiers from the militaries of several nations. Based in Hereford, England (real-life home of the Special Air Service), the team is led by John Clark (who had the idea for Rainbow), a recurring character in Clancy's novels. Rainbow is "blacker than black" with its American funding directed through the U.S. Interior Department by the U.S. Congress, and then through U.S. Defense Department's Office of Special Projects, with no connection to the Intelligence Community. Fewer than a hundred people in the U.S. government know that Rainbow exists.
The idea for the title comes from the United States Color-coded War Plans, specifically the Rainbow Plans of the 1930s, where Rainbow Five is the last known plan. In these plans, various countries were given a color code, and the Rainbow Plans outlined strategies for dealing with potential conflicts between coalitions of countries. Rainbow Five, for instance, which is discussed extensively in the Plan Dog memo, details several U.S. strategies for America's involvement in World War II. For Rainbow Six, the aggressor is international terrorists. "Rainbow Six" also refers to John Clark, the leader of Rainbow, because "Six" is U.S. military terminology for a unit commander. Additionally the title symbolizes the multi-national nature of the elite unit: Like a rainbow contains many colors, the unit contains many nationalities.
Central Intelligence Agency operatives John Clark and Domingo Chavez join Special Air Service (SAS) officer Alistair Stanley in forming an elite multinational counter-terrorist unit known as Rainbow, based in Hereford, United Kingdom. The unit consists of a highly effective and cohesive pair of operational squads, supplemented by intelligence and technological experts from the SAS. Clark is the commanding officer, while Chavez leads one of the two squads.
The first deployment of Rainbow involves Chavez' squad in the rescue of hostages during a botched bank robbery in Bern, Switzerland. Several weeks later, Chavez is deployed to Austria, where a group of left-wing German terrorists have taken over the schloss of a wealthy Austrian businessman, Erwin Ostermann, in order to obtain imaginary "special access codes" to the international trading markets. Through careful planning and negotiating, the terrorists are persuaded to take their hostages out to a waiting helicopter, presumably to make their getaway. On their way to the helicopter, Rainbow's disguised shooters ambush and kill them.
Clark and his colleagues become suspicious about this flurry of activity from older terrorists. Unbeknownst to them, radical eco-terrorists from a biotechnology firm called the Horizon Corporation have orchestrated the previous attacks, having hired ex-KGB officer Dimitriy Popov to foment the incidents. The increase in terror attacks helps their security firm land a contract during the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. From within the Olympic security apparatus, they plan to launch a sophisticated bioweapon attack intended to wipe out the majority of the human race.
The conspirators, staunch environmentalists, believe that the great proliferation of humanity is destroying the biosphere and that the optimum number of humans in the world should not exceed half a million. Therefore, the "excess" billions must be killed off. The plan is to use the Olympics where people from virtually every country in the world are gathered, and infect athletes and spectators with a mutated form of Ebola which they would carry back to their countries. When the disease starts breaking out in various countries, the Horizon Corporation would announce that it had developed a vaccine and is set to produce it on a large scale, and be hailed as a savior. The world's governments would hurriedly organize giving the supposed vaccine to their entire populations. By the time it is realized that in fact it was the disease itself, it would be too late - the whole of humanity would be dead or dying, except for the "chosen few" who would get the real vaccine and who would inherit the emptied world. The fanatic conspirators, bearing no personal animosity to the billions they plan to kill, are utterly convinced of the justness of their actions and think of them as "saving the world" - i.e., saving the environment and the biosphere from the encroachment of destructive humanity.
All this remains hidden in the background, while Popov learns about Rainbow - whereupon he directs members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army to take over a local hospital in Hereford near Rainbow's base, take Clark and Chavez's wives hostage, and ambush one of Rainbow's squads. Rainbow and the SAS retake the hospital, capturing some of the terrorists. Interrogation reveals Popov's involvement in instigating the attack. Now the focus of a manhunt, Popov is kept hidden at Horizon's secret base in Kansas. Upon learning about the planned Olympic attack (and realizing that he has been deceived about the true nature of his employment), an appalled Popov escapes the compound and contacts Clark. Chavez is present at the Olympics as a security consultant and manages to thwart the attack.
Their plans destroyed, the eco-terrorists retreat to their refuge deep in the Brazilian rain forest, hoping to negotiate a deal to return to the United States. Clark, knowing that they may never be put on trial, tracks down the Brazilian hideout and deploys Rainbow to the location. After Rainbow defeats the eco-terrorists' militia force and destroys their facility and supplies, Clark has the survivors stripped naked and left to die, taunting them to "reconnect with nature." When no survivors resurface in nearby towns, one agent notes that although people try to preserve nature, nature is not known for returning the favor.
In July 2017, Paramount Pictures announced plans to make a film adaptation of the novel with Akiva Goldsman as producer.
- 1998, U.S., G. P. Putnam's Sons ISBN 0-399-14390-4, Pub date ? August 1998, hardcover
- 1998, U.K., Michael Joseph Ltd ISBN 0-7181-4336-1, Pub date 27 August 1998, hardback
- 1998, U.S., Putnam Publishing Group ISBN 0-399-14413-7, Pub date ? August 1998, hardcover (Limited Edition)
- 1998, U.S., Demco Media ISBN 0-606-17207-6, Pub date ? September 1998, unbound
- 1998, U.S., Random House ISBN 0-375-70324-1, August 1998, paperback (Large Type Edition)
- 1999, U.S., Berkley Publishing Group ISBN 0-425-17005-5, Pub date ? September 1999, paperback
- 1999, U.S., Berkley Publishing Group ISBN 0-425-17034-9, pub date September 1999, mass market paperback