Tom Clancy was the author of eighteen #1 New York Times-bestselling novels. His first effort, The Hunt for Red October, sold briskly as a result of rave reviews, then catapulted onto the bestseller list after President Ronald Reagan pronounced it “the perfect yarn.” Clancy was the undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense. He died in October 2013.
At one time, Tom Clancy was an obscure Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history and only a letter to the editor and a brief article on the MX missile to his credit. Years before he had been an English major at Baltimore’s Loyola College and had always dreamed of writing a novel. His first effort, The Hunt for Red October—the story of a Russian submarine captain who defects to the United States—sold briskly as a result of rave reviews, then catapulted onto the New York Times bestseller list after President Reagan pronounced it “the perfect yarn” and “non-put-downable.” Since then Clancy has established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense.
Clancy’s next novel, Red Storm Rising, took on U.S./Soviet tension by providing a realistic modern war scenario arising from a conventional Soviet attack on NATO. Other bestsellers followed: Patriot Games dealt with terrorism; Cardinal of the Kremlin focused on spies, secrets and the strategic defense initiative; Clear and Present Danger asked what if there was a real war on drugs; The Sum of All Fears centered around post-Cold War attempts to rekindle U.S./Soviet animosity; Without Remorse took on the rising U.S. drug trade and Vietnam War era POW’s; and Debt of Honor explored the hazards of American/Japanese economic competition, the vulnerability of America’s financial system, and the dangers of military downsizing. In light of the events of September 11, 2001, Debt of Honor demonstrated once and for all Clancy’s cutting-edge prescience in predicting future events. The novel ends with a suicide attack against the U.S. Capitol Building by a terrorist flying a 747 out of Dulles airport.
Clancy’s uninterrupted string of best sellers continued with Executive Orders, which combined the threat of biological and conventional terrorism with the instability of the Persian Gulf region; Rainbow Six, which explored the dual threats posed by former Soviet intelligence operatives willing to sell themselves to the highest bidder, and genetically engineering bio weapons; and The Bear and The Dragon, which posited a limited war between China, the U.S. and Russia.
Clancy’s nonfiction works include Submarine, Armored Cav, Fighter Wing, Marine, and Airborne—a series of guided tours of America’s warfighting assets. He has also written three books in an extraordinary nonfiction series that looks deep into the art of war through the eyes of America’s outstanding military commanders. Into The Storm: A Study in Command, written with armor and infantry General Fred Franks Jr., and Every Man a Tiger, written with Air Force General Chuck Horner, won unanimous praise for their detailed exploration of traditional war-fighting from the ground and from the air. The third book in the Commanders series, Shadow Warriors: Inside the Special Forces, written with General Carl Stiner, former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, tells the story of the soldiers whose training, resourcefulness, and creativity make them capable of jobs that few other soldiers can handle, in situations where traditional arms and movement don’t apply.