To say the literary world lost a titan today, would actually undersell the legacy of the great .
Clancy's work on the page, via his numerous spy and political thrillers, made him one of the most revered names in that genre. In many ways, Tom Clancy was the American . That isn't simply an acknowledgment that the character Jack Ryan is rivaled only by 's Jason Bourne for the title of America's James Bond. Like Fleming, Clancy had intimate first-hand knowledge of the military and intelligence-gathering agencies that gave his writing a sometimes eerie authenticity. Still, Clancy was emphatic that nothing of a truly classified nature ever made it into one of his novels for fear that he might jeopardize the lives of America's soldiers and operatives.
The power of Clancy's words and the intricate designs of his plots could not be limited to just one medium. The Hunt for Red October brought Jack Ryan to the big screen and ushered in a new standard for cinematic political spy thrillers. Ryan was played first by , then , then , and Chris Pine will take on the role this Christmas in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. How amazing that Clancy got to see his literary protagonist become one of the most sought-after roles in Hollywood.
But Clancy's reach in visual media exceeded beyond even filmic adaptations of his novels. He also managed to spur a revolution in modern military videogames with the various console iterations of his works. The Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, and Ghost Recon game franchises have been the exemplars of the format for many years. And now, all three of those games have film adaptations in the works.
Clancy's words more than speak for themselves, but the breadth of his influence in entertainment media and popular culture is astounding and fascinatingly self-proliferating.
Tom Clancy has shipped off this mortal coil at the age of 66, but generations to come will know his name; whether brandished atop a novel, a videogame or in the opening credits of a film. We salute you, Tom.