"What do I know about sex? I'm a married man." -- Tom Clancy
Thomas Leo "Tom" Clancy Jr. (born April 12, 1947) is an American author, best known for his technically detailed espionage, military science and techno thriller storylines set during and in the aftermath of the Cold War, and several MTV videos and UFOs along with video games which he did not work on, but which bear his name for licensing and promotional purposes. His name is also a brand for similar movie scripts written by ghost writers and many series of non-fiction books on military subjects and merged biographies of key leaders. He is also part-owner and Vice Chairman of Community Activities and Public Affairs of the Baltimore Orioles, a Major League Baseball team.
"America is the most inventive country in the world because everybody has access to information.""Collaboration on a book is the ultimate unnatural act.""Fighting wars is not so much about killing people as it is about finding things out. The more you know, the more likely you are to win a battle.""I was one of the first generations to watch television. TV exposes people to news, to information, to knowledge, to entertainment. How is it bad?""I've made up stuff that's turned out to be real, that's the spooky part.""In the Soviet Union it was illegal to take a photograph of a train station. Look what happened to them. They tried to classify everything.""It's not right to say that our loss in Vietnam turned out to be a gain. But lessons were learned. And they were the right lessons.""Life is about learning; when you stop learning, you die.""Man is a creature of hope and invention, both of which belie the idea that things cannot be changed.""Never ask what sort of computer a guy drives. If he's a Mac user, he'll tell you. If not, why embarrass him?""No matter what you or anyone else does, there will be someone who says that there's something bad about it.""Nothing is as real as a dream. The world can change around you, but your dream will not. Responsibilities need not erase it. Duties need not obscure it. Because the dream is within you, no one can take it away.""People live longer today than they ever have. They live happier lives, have more knowledge, more information. All this is the result of communications technology. How is any of that bad?""Probably what pushed the Russians over the edge was SDI. They realized they couldn't beat us.""Show me an elitist, and I'll show you a loser.""The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government. Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people.""The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.""The good old days are now.""The human condition today is better than it's ever been, and technology is one of the reasons for that.""The U.S. Military is us. There is no truer representation of a country than the people that it sends into the field to fight for it. The people who wear our uniform and carry our rifles into combat are our kids, and our job is to support them, because they're protecting us.""There are two kinds of people: the ones who need to be told and the ones who figure it out all by themselves.""There used to be this country called the Soviet Union; it's not there anymore. Our technology was better than theirs.""There was a time when nails were high-tech. There was a time when people had to be told how to use a telephone. Technology is just a tool. People use tools to improve their lives.""Whenever somebody comes up with a good idea, there's somebody else who has never had a good idea in his life who stands up and says, Oh, you can't do that."
Thomas Leo Clancy, Jr was born in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. He attended Loyola Blakefield in Towson, Maryland, graduating with the class of 1965. He studied English Literature at Loyola College in Baltimore, graduating in 1969. Though he wanted to serve in the United States military, he was rejected after failing a required eye exam in the ROTC. Before making his literary debut, he spent some time running an independent insurance agency. This agency thrived for a few years before joining a group of investors.
Clancy and his first wife Wanda married in 1969, separated briefly in 1995, and permanently separated in December 1996. Wanda Clancy filed for divorce in November 1998, which became final in 1999.In 1993, Tom 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 the divorce settlement cost.
On June 26, 1999, Clancy married freelance journalist Alexandra Marie Llewellyn, whom he 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.
In 2008, the use of Clancy's name was purchased by French video game manufacturer Ubisoft for an undisclosed sum. It will be used in conjunction with video games and related products such as movies,and books.
Clancy has generally been regarded as a political conservative, and has donated over US$256,000 to Republican Party political candidates.
A week after the 9/11 attack, on The O'Reilly Factor, Clancy stated that left-wing politicians in the United States were partly responsible for September 11 due to their gutting of the CIA. Clancy has also associated himself with General Anthony Zinni, a critic of the George W. Bush administration, and has been critical of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Some of his books bear dedications to Republican political figures, most notably Ronald Reagan. In his novels, countries portrayed as hostile to the U.S. include the former Soviet Union, Syria, China, Iran, India, and Japan while Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, South Korea, Taiwan, Israel, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom are shown as close allies of the USA.
On September 11, 2001, Clancy was interviewed by Judy Woodruff on CNN. During the interview, he observed that Islam does not condone 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 U.S. intelligence community. Clancy appeared again on PBS's Charlie Rose, where he debated Vice-Presidential candidate Senator John Edwards.
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 2011.
With the release of The Teeth of the Tiger, Clancy introduced Jack Ryan's son and two nephews who were main characters.
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 and video games with his name that are written by other authors, following premises or storylines generally in keeping with Clancy's works:
Tom Clancy's Op-Center
Tom Clancy's Power Plays
Tom Clancy's Net Force
Tom Clancy's Net Force Explorers
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
Tom Clancy's EndWar
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
Tom Clancy's The Sum Of All Fears
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2
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. Clancy is currently writing a new novel set in the Jack Ryan/John Clark universe.
All but two of Clancy's novels feature Jack Ryan or John Clark.
By publication date
The Hunt for Red October (1984): Clancy's first published novel. CIA analyst Jack Ryan assists in the defection of a respected Soviet naval captain, along with the most advanced ballistic missile submarine of the Soviet fleet. The movie (1990) stars Alec Baldwin as Ryan and Sean Connery as Captain Ramius. Captain Mancuso is introduced here. Nearly every book after has Mancuso in ever increasing command of U.S. submarine forces.
Red Storm Rising (1986): War between NATO and USSR. The basis of the combat game of the same name, this book is not a member of the Ryan story series (although the protagonist of the story has many similarities with Jack Ryan). He co-wrote it with Larry Bond.
Patriot Games (1987): The first book that Clancy wrote, Patriot Games predates The Hunt for Red October in chronological order. Jack Ryan foils an attack in London on the Prince and Princess of Wales by the "Ulster Liberation Army". The ULA then attacks Ryan's Maryland home while he is hosting the Prince and Princess for dinner. The movie stars Harrison Ford as Ryan and Samuel L. Jackson as Robby Jackson.
The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988): First appearance of John Clark and Sergey Golovko. Ryan leads a CIA operation which forces the head of the KGB to defect. Other elements include anti-satellite lasers and other SDI-type weapons, and the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Major Alan Gregory is introduced here. (He appears later, updating SAM software in The Bear and the Dragon). Colonel Bondarenko also is introduced here. (He appears in later books offering advice to Golovko in "Executive Orders" and commanding the Russian Army defenses against China in its sequel "The Bear and the Dragon")
Clear and Present Danger (1989): The President authorizes the CIA to use American military forces in a covert war against cocaine producers in Colombia. The operation is betrayed. Ryan meets John Clark as they lead a mission to rescue abandoned soldiers. Domingo "Ding" Chavez (Clark's protege in later novels) is one of the rescued soldiers. The movie (1994) stars Harrison Ford as Ryan, Willem Dafoe as Clark and Raymond Cruz as Chavez.
The Sum of All Fears (1991): Arab terrorists find a nuclear weapon that had been lost by Israel, and use it to attack the United States. This nearly triggers a war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, due to the incompetence of the new President and his mistress with an anti-Ryan agenda. Ryan intervenes to avert the war. 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): Without Remorse takes place during the Vietnam War, when Jack Ryan was a teenager. Ex-SEAL John Clark (then John Kelly) fights a bloody one-man war against drug dealers in Baltimore, attracting the attention of Jack's father Emmett, a Baltimore police detective. He also helps plan and execute a raid on a prisoner-of-war camp in North Vietnam. Clark joins the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Debt of Honor (1994): A secret cabal of extreme nationalists gains control of Japan (having acquired some nuclear weapons), and start a war with the U.S. Ryan, now National Security Advisor, and Clark and Chavez, agents in Japan, help win the war. The Vice President resigns in a scandal, and the President appoints Ryan to replace him. A vengeful, die-hard Japanese airline pilot then crashes a jetliner into the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress attended by most senior U.S. government leaders, including the President. Ryan thus becomes the new President through succession.
Executive Orders (1996): This is the immediate sequel to Debt of Honor. President Ryan survives press hazing, an assassination attempt, and a biological warfare attack on the USA. Clark and Chavez trace the virus to a Middle Eastern madman, and the U.S. military goes to work.
Strategies for Submarine Warfare (1996): Follows the missions of USS Cheyenne in a future war with China precipitated by China's invasion of the disputed Spratly Islands. Also not a Ryanverse book, SSN is actually a loosely connected collection of "scenario" chapters in support of the eponymous computer game.
Rainbow Six (1998): Released to coincide with the computer game of the same name. John Clark and Ding, who is now Clark's son-in-law, lead an elite multi-national anti-terrorist unit that combats a worldwide genocide attempt by eco-terrorists. (Jack Ryan is the U.S. President and only mentioned or referred to as either 'The President' or 'Jack'.)
The Bear and the Dragon (2000): War between Russia and China. Ryan recognizes the independence of Taiwan, Chinese police officers kill a Roman Catholic Cardinal, and the American armed forces help Russia defeat a Chinese invasion of Siberia.
Red Rabbit (2002): In the early 1980s, CIA analyst Ryan aids in the defection of a Soviet officer who knows of a plan to assassinate Pope John Paul II.
The Teeth of the Tiger (2003): Jack Ryan's son, Jack Ryan Jr., becomes 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 end of the Jack Ryan Sr. presidential administration. This book of the Jack Ryan series by Tom Clancy introduces Ryan's son and two nephews as heirs to his spook-legacy.
Dead or Alive (2010): Clancy's newest novel, the story picks up where The Teeth of the Tiger left off with Jack Ryan Jr. and The Campus trying to catch a terrorist known as "The Emir".
By series plot chronology
Novels not in the series
Red Storm Rising (1986)
Jack Ryan/John Clark Universe
Without Remorse (1993) (John Kelly/Clark, Jack's father Emmett Ryan, brief appearance by Jack)
Patriot Games (1987)
Red Rabbit (2002)
The Hunt for Red October (1984)
The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988)
Clear and Present Danger (1989)
The Sum of All Fears (1991)
Debt of Honor (1994)
Executive Orders (1996)
Rainbow Six (1998) (John Kelly/Clark, Jack Ryan by unnamed reference)
The Bear and the Dragon (2000)
The Teeth of the Tiger (2003) (Jack Ryan Jr., Jack Ryan by reference)
Dead or Alive (2010) (Jack Ryan Jr.)
Games of State
Acts of War
Balance of Power
State of Siege
Divide and Conquer
Line of Control
Mission of Honor
Sea of Fire
Call to Treason
War of Eagles
Point of Impact
State of War
Changing of the Guard
The Archimedes Effect
NetForce Explorers Universe
The Deadliest Game
One is the Loneliest Number
The Ultimate Escape
The Great Race
Shadow of Honor
Power Plays Series
Politika (novel, 1997)
Politika (computer game) by Red Storm Entertainment
Politika (board game)
ruthless.com (novel, 1998)
ruthless.com (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
Ghost Recon Universe
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon by Grant Blackwood as David Michaels
Tom Clancy's EndWar by Grant Blackwood as David Michaels
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X by Grant Blackwood as David Michaels
A Guided Tour Inside a Nuclear Warship (1993)
Armored Cav: A Guided Tour of an Armored Cavalry Regiment (1994)
A Guided Tour of an Air Force Combat Wing (1995)
A Guided Tour of a Marine Expeditionary Unit (1996)
A Guided Tour of an Airborne Task Force (1997)
A Guided Tour of an Aircraft Carrier (1999)
Special Forces: A Guided Tour of U.S. Army Special Forces (2001)
Study in Command
Into the Storm - On the Ground in Iraq (with Fred Franks) (1997)
Every Man a Tiger - the Gulf War Air Campaign (with Chuck Horner) (1999)
Shadow Warriors - Inside the Special Forces (with Carl Stiner) (2002)
Battle Ready (with Anthony Zinni) (2004)
The Tom Clancy Companion - Edited by Martin H. Greenberg ... Writings by Clancy along with a concordance of all his fiction novels, detailing characters and military units or equipment.
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:
The Hunt for Red October (1987): Submarine sim loosely based on the novel of the same name. Produced by Grandslam Entertainment for IBM PC, C64, and Amiga.
Red Storm Rising (1988): Submarine sim loosely based on the novel of the same name. Produced by MicroProse for IBM PC, C64, and Amiga.
The Hunt for Red October (1990): Submarine sim based on the movie of the same name. Produced by Grandslam Entertainment for IBM PC, Amiga, Nintendo Entertainment System, and Game Boy.
SSN (1996): Submarince sim based on the novel of the same name. Produced by Simon & Schuster Interactive for IBM PC.
Shadow Watch (2000): Turn based strategy based on the Power Play novel of the same name.
The Sum of All Fears (2002): Tactical first person shooter similar in style to Rainbow Six, but based on the Ghost Recon engine. The plot is based on the movie of the same name. Produced by Ubisoft for the IBM PC and Nintendo GameCube system.
Rainbow Six series: Squad-based first-person shooters, based on the novel of the same name, typically taking place in closed urban environments.
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six (1998)
Eagle Watch (1999)
Rogue Spear (1999)
Urban Operations (2000)
Covert Operations Essentials (2000)
Take-Down — Missions in Korea (2001)
Black Thorn (2001)
Lone Wolf (2002)
Raven Shield (2003)
Black Arrow (2004)
Athena Sword (2004)
Iron Wrath (2005)
Critical Hour (2006)
Vegas 2 (2008)
Ghost Recon series: Squad-based first-person shooters/third-person shooters. As opposed to the Rainbow Six games, Ghost Recon usually takes place in larger, outdoor environments.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (2001)
Desert Siege (2003)
Island Thunder (2003)
Jungle Storm (2004)
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 (2004)
Summit Strike (2005)
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (2006)
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (2007)
Future Soldier (2011)
Splinter Cell series: Third person stealth games, lately spawned a line of books written by a series of different authors, all writing under the pseudonym David Michaels.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (2002)
Pandora Tomorrow (2004)
Chaos Theory (2005)
Double Agent (2006)
EndWar series: Franchise set in a speculative World War III, taking place in 2020.
Tom Clancy's EndWar (2008)
Tom Clancy's EndWar 2 (TBA)
H.A.W.X series: Air combat.
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X (2009)
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 (2010)
Many of the games bearing the Clancy name have been very successful, spawning several sequels and expansions. It is unknown how much input Clancy has into the games.
World news media is a fictional news network that had been featured in many Tom Clancy's video games.
It has been said that an attempt will be made to merge the various series into one coherent universe (~2:40-3:30)
: 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.
Red Storm Rising (1989)
:Ground warfare wargame published by TSR, Inc., based on the novel of the same name. It covered an attack on NATO forces in western Europe by the Warsaw Pact. It included rules for integration with The Hunt for Red October game of the year before. The publisher reused the system for Europe Aflame (1989), a strategic World War II game, and A Line in the Sand, a strategic game about the First Gulf War.
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.
Clancy received an honorary doctorate in humane letters and delivered the commencement address at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1992, and has since worked a reference to the school into many of his main works.
Clancy is an honorary Yeoman Warder of The Tower of London holding the title "Supernumerary Yeoman". On the television show Ace of Cakes his wife commissioned, for his 60th birthday, a special cake in the shape of the Tower of London in acknowledgment of his status. In the episode, Tom Clancy referred to the Beefeaters as, "Just a terrific bunch of guys".
Clancy received the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement from the Navy League of the United States in 1990.