Best-selling author Tom Clancy is seen in this 1992 photo (AP Photo)

CARLOS OSORIO

MSN News:

Tom Clancy, the author of several best-selling military thrillers including "The Hunt for Red October" and "Patriot Games," died Tuesday at a Baltimore hospital. He was 66.

Clancy's publisher confirmed the news to the New York Times. A spokesman for the author's literary agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a career that spanned three decades, Clancy became one of the most successful figures in publishing. His name above a title was a calling card that conferred best-seller status on his espionage and military thrillers and inspired a dizzying array of tie-ins ranging from movies to video games. His books reveled in the technological details of spy-craft and weaponry, spending paragraphs recounting the various features of a nuclear submarine or a fighter plane, for instance.

His most enduring creation may have been Jack Ryan, the patriotic and morally upright CIA analyst turned politician at the center of more than a dozen novels including "The Sum of All Fears" and "The Cardinal of the Kremlin." The character was notable because his life and ascent mirrored the tectonic changes taking place in American foreign policy throughout Clancy's writing career, as the country moved away from Cold War brinksmanship and turned its gaze to terrorist threats in the Middle East.

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