Tom Clancy Biography

Tom Clancy Biography on Monsters and Critics


"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, 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 Vice Chairman of Community Activities and Public Affairs, as well as also part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball .

Personal life

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.

Political views

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. Conversely, 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 as well.

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

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 did not 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; these characters continue in his latest novel, "Dead Or Alive".

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. 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.

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): "Patriot Games" predates the first book that Clancy wrote, "The Hunt for Red October", chronologically. 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 1994 film 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 film stars Ben Affleck as Ryan and 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 officials, 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.

; "SSN: 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, with Grant Blackwood): Clancy's second 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'.

; "Against All Enemies" (2011, with Peter Telep): A terrorist bombing in Pakistan wipes out Max Moore's entire CIA team. As the only survivor, the former Navy SEAL plunges deeper into the treacherous tribal lands to find the terrorist cell, but what he discovers there leads him to a much darker conspiracy in an unexpected part of the globe-the US/Mexico border.

Novels not in the series

"Red Storm Rising" (1986)

"SSN" (1996)

Jack Ryan/John Clark Universe Chronology

In the order in which they occur in the storyline (and when they occur):

"Without Remorse" (1970)

"Patriot Games" (1981, based on a reference to Ryan's age, which is 31 at the beginning of the novel. This roughly fits with a reference to the Princess of Wales expecting a second baby - in reality, Prince Harry was born in September 1984)

"Red Rabbit" (circa spring of 1982, based on references to living Leonid Brezhnev and Mikhail Suslov, both of whom died in 1982, as well as Jack Ryan Jr.'s age in the novel, 6 months)

"The Hunt for Red October" (1984)

"The Cardinal of the Kremlin" (1986) - 'The first chapter is set in January and states that Ryan is 35 years old. It also has references to the other books set earlier. For example the Foley's have been in Moscow for almost four years. The book must begin (not including prologue which was set end of previous year) in January 1986.

Starting with the following novel, the series becomes distinctly different from real history as noted below.

"Clear and Present Danger" (1988)

"The Sum of All Fears" (1990-91) - Israel partially cedes sovereignty over Jerusalem to the Vatican and Saudi Arabia, and the city becomes a UN protectorate policed by Swiss Guards. Residents of Jerusalem can choose between either Vatican, Israeli or Islamic judicial law. Denver is devastated by a terrorist nuclear explosion. The book occurs after the Persian Gulf War and before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It is implied that both events occur at the same time in the Ryanverse as in actual history (of the Soviet Union dissolution), 1991. In the earlier chapters it states that it had almost been two Novembers since President Fowler had been elected, making the beginning set in 1990.

"Debt of Honor" (1995-96) - The U.S. and Russia destroy all of their ballistic missiles. After crippling the US economy and becoming a nuclear power, Japan invades and takes the Marianas Islands; the US and Japan fight a brief war, which the Japanese lose (they are subsequently denuclearized); an embittered Japanese pilot and proponent of the war crashes a 747 into the US Capitol Building immediately after Ryan's confirmation vote for the Vice President, killing most of the House and Senate, the President, all nine Supreme Court justices, the senior military establishment (including the JCS), and most of the Cabinet; Ryan is left in charge of a gutted government. The end of the book occurs shortly after the New Hampshire primary, which shows that the novel takes place during the 1996 election. Of interest, but not crucial to the plot of this or further books is that North and South Korea were said to be unified at some point between "The Sum of All Fears" and this book.

"Executive Orders" (1996) - Saddam Hussein is assassinated; Iran and Iraq merge forming the United Islamic Republic; the UIR launches a biological attack on the U.S. using the Ebola virus; the US launches the Second Persian Gulf War against the UIR and defeats them; the Ayatollah is killed in a smart-bomb attack by the US.

"Rainbow Six" (Takes place between "Executive Orders" and "The Bear and the Dragon" most likely 1998-1999 from a statement saying that it had been a year and a half since Jack became president and the date of the video game) (although events seem to be based on the Sydney Olympics held in 2000) RAINBOW - an elite counter-terrorist force - is created and engages terrorists across Europe. Ecoterrorists plan to create a genetically-enhanced virus based on Ebola and cancer cells, which they plan to use to wipe out much of the world's population.

"The Bear and the Dragon" (2000) - Russia is admitted to NATO; China and Russia fight a major war, in which the US intervenes on its NATO ally's side. It implies that the British Prime Minister is Tony Blair.

"The Teeth of the Tiger" (2005, based on the age of Jack Ryan Jr.) The U.S. is now engaged in a global war on terrorism, in response to the September 11 attacks which occurred in the Ryanverse as they did in the real world. It is mentioned that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq occurred in the Ryanverse continuity, and that the Jerusalem Treaty signed in "The Sum of All Fears" has failed as Israelis and Palestinians went back to fighting each other.

"Dead or Alive" (2007, based on Jack Ryan's announcement that he would run against Ed Kealty for President 'in the coming year') - The Umayyad Revolutionary Council (the Ryanverse's version of Al-Qaeda) and its leader 'The Emir' (based on Osama bin Laden) plan a string of major attacks on the U.S. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue, as in our timeline, and President Kealty is in the process of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, a process that began in our timeline in 2009. A character also explicitly refers to the date as May 2010, in the process of decoding encrypted messages.

Op-Center Universe


"Mirror Image"

"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"

NetForce Universe

"NetForce" (1998)

"Hidden Agendas"

"Night Moves"

"Breaking Point"

"Point of Impact"


"State of War"


"Changing of the Guard"

"The Archimedes Effect"

NetForce Explorers Universe

Virtual Vandals

The Deadliest Game

One is the Loneliest Number

The Ultimate Escape

End Game


The Great Race

Shadow of Honor

Private Lives

Safe House

Power Plays Series

"Politika" (novel, 1997)

* "Politika" (computer game) by Red Storm Entertainment

** "Politika" (board game)

"" (novel, 1998)

* "" (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 Ghost Recon: Combat Ops" by David Michaels

EndWar Universe

"Tom Clancy's EndWar" by Grant Blackwood as David Michaels

"Tom Clancy's EndWar: The Hunted" by Grant Blackwood as David Michaels

H.A.W.X Universe

"Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X" by Grant Blackwood as David Michaels

"Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2"


"Guided Tour"

"Submarine: A Guided Tour Inside a Nuclear Warship" (1993)

"Armored Cav: A Guided Tour of an Armored Cavalry Regiment" (1994)

"Fighter Wing: A Guided Tour of an Air Force Combat Wing" (1995)

"Marine: A Guided Tour of a Marine Expeditionary Unit" (1996)

"Airborne: A Guided Tour of an Airborne Task Force" (1997, ISBN 0425157709)

"Carrier: 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.

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:

"The Hunt for Red October" (1987): Submarine simulation 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 Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, ZX Spectrum.

"The Hunt for Red October" (1990): Submarine sim based on the movie of the same name. Produced for Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, and Super NES.

"SSN" (1996): Submarine sim based on the novel of the same name. Produced by Simon & Schuster Interactive for IBM PC. (1998) by Red Storm Entertainment: Strategy game based loosely on the book of the same name.

"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 has made 18 Rainbow six games.

*"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: Take-Down - Missions in Korea" (2001)

*"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)

"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)

*"Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Desert Siege" (2003)

*"Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Island Thunder" (2003)

*"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: Future Soldier" (2012)

*"Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Lead the Ghosts" (TBA)

"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)

*"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)

"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 (... more) (~2:40-3:30)

Board games

"The Hunt for Red October" (1988)

"Red Storm Rising" (1989)

"Tom Clancy's Politika" (1997)

Achievements and awards

Clancy is one of only three authors to have sold two million copies on a first printing in the 1990s (the other two being John Grisham and J.K. Rowling). 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.

In popular culture

The BBC Radio 4 sitcom "Deep 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.

External links

(Official Tom Clancy Web Site)

(Transcript of interview with Deborah Norville on the War in Iraq - April 2004)

(Detailed Tom Clancy Book Reviews)

(Tom Clancy FAQ)

(The Page of Tom Clancy's Primary Publisher)

Literary reviews and criticism

('Something for the Boys') by Christopher Hitchens, "The New York Review of Books", November 14, 1996. A review of Clancy's "Marine: A Guided Tour of a Marine Expeditionary Unit."

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