Tom Clancy, one of the most popular spy and military-themed novelists, died on October 1st at the age of 66.
Clancy’s first bestseller was The Hunt for Red October, published in 1984, and it was followed by a long string of hits, including Red Storm Rising, Patriot Games, The Cardinal of the Kremlin, Clear and Present Danger, The Sum of All Fears and many more. Several of his novels have been made into blockbuster movies, and his page on the Internet Movie Database features an interesting anecdote about how his novels became bestsellers:
A woman in Washington, DC, read his novel "The Hunt For Red October" when it was first published by the Naval Press Institute in the 1980s, and loved it so much that she gave a copy to all her friends. One of those friends was President Ronald Reagan, who stepped off Marine One with the book tucked under his arm. A reporter saw the book and asked Reagan, "What are you reading?" Reagan then held up the book so everybody could see the cover and replied, "It's a really a good yarn." After Reagan's compliment, Tom Clancy's first novel became a best seller. (Internet Movie Database)
His last novel, Command Authority, is slated for release in December 2013.