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Thriller writer Tom Clancy dies aged 66
TRIBUTES have been paid to Tom Clancy, who hit the big-time with Cold War thrillers such as The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games, after he died in the US aged 66.
His publisher, Penguin Group, said he died on Tuesday in Baltimore. The statement gave no cause of death.
A former insurance salesman, Clancy said his original intention was to publish just one book so that he would be in the Library of Congress catalogue.
He was catapulted into the big-time when US President Ronald Reagan praised his submarine thriller, The Hunt for Red October. The president had received a copy as a Christmas present and joked that he couldn't put it down.
A film version starring Sean Connery and Harrison Ford followed and Clancy became a brand name in his own right - a guarantee of fast-moving action on a sweeping panorama.
Clancy's early novels, Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, made him the heir to Ian Fleming as the master of the spy story.
Later he branched out and even lent his name to a long-running series of video games.
His plots were often based on true events and sometimes the novels came frighteningly close to predicting the future, never more so than in Debt of Honor, in which a jumbo jet destroys the US Capitol during a joint meeting of Congress.
Born in Baltimore on April 12, 1947 to a postman and his wife, Clancy switched to English because he was not smart enough to study science, although he clearly mastered it well enough in his fiction.
He lived in rural Maryland.
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