Tom Clancy, the hugely successful and prolific author behind the Jack Ryan series of books and multiple video game franchises, died at a hospital last night in Baltimore at the age of 66. His publisher confirmed the news to the New York Times but no cause of death has been announced.

Clancy become popular in the mid-1980s as his political thrillers centering around CIA specialist Jack Ryan became best sellers. Four of the Jack Ryan films would become movies - 'The Hunt For Red October,' 'Clear and Present Danger,' 'Patriot Games' and 'The Sum of All Fears' - with a fifth ('Jack Ryan: Shadow One') on the way this December. Multiple actors portrayed Jack Ryan over the years from Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford to Ben Affleck and Chris Pine.

For a new generation, Clancy was best known for his popular video game franchises, including Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell. All told, Clancy lent his name to over 40 original video games including 18 Rainbow Six games and 13 Ghost Recon games. Recently Tom Hardy signed on to star in a movie adaptation of the Splinter Cell games and Michael Bay is producing a 'Ghost Recon' film.

Clancy is survived by his wife of 16 years Alexandra Marie Llewellyn.

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