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US thriller author Tom Clancy dead at 66: New York Times

Author Tom Clancy at a press conference on Feb 5, 1998, at the Minneapolis Club in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Clancy, the American author of a string of best-selling spy and military thrillers, has died, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, Oct 2,
Author Tom Clancy at a press conference on Feb 5, 1998, at the Minneapolis Club in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Clancy, the American author of a string of best-selling spy and military thrillers, has died, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, Oct 2, 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Tom Clancy, the American author of a string of best-selling spy and military thrillers, has died, the New York Times reported Wednesday. He was 66.

His long list of novels - several of which became Hollywood movies - included The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger.

The Baltimore Sun newspaper said Clancy, a Maryland native, died on Tuesday “after a brief illness” at the city’s Johns Hopkins hospital. The New York Times cited his publisher in reporting the death.

Clancy set his novels in the context of the Cold War and its aftermath, focusing on espionage and military science with rich attention to technical detail.

“The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense,” he once said.

Clancy also lent his name to a series of video games, including Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, released in August by Ubisoft.

An avowed Republican, Clancy was also a co-owner of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team.