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Tom Clancy: Author, Investor, and...Insurance Agent?

By Kristin Masters. Apr 12, 2012. 6:15 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literature, Modern First Editions

Today marks the 65th birthday of Tom Clancy! The author of countless action novels has inspired movies, video games, and even other writers. Best known for his tales of scientific thrillers, military science, and espionage, Clancy has gained significant recognition both in the US and abroad.

Tom Clancy Books

Here's a quick look at a few things you probably didn't know about Clancy:

  • Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Tom Clancy is also part owner of the Major League Baseball Baltimore Orioles team. In 1998 he also reached an agreement to buy the Minnesota Vikings, but rethought the purchase due to divorce settlement costs.

  • Before embarking on his career as a writer, Clancy owned an insurance business! The firm did well and was purchased by a group of investors.

  • Clancy remains very vocal about his political views. He once debated Senator and eventual vice-presidential candidate John Edwards on Charlie Rose, and he's been a Life member of the NRA since 1978.
  • Before there were video games...Three of Clancy's novels (The Hunt for Red October, Red Storm Rising, and Tom Clancy's Politica) inspired board games that enjoyed some popularity.
  • Clancy is one of only three authors to have sold 2 million copies of a first printing in the 1990's. His company: John Grisham and JK Rowling.
  • Clancy's novel Clear and Present Danger (1989) sold over 1,600,000 copies, making it the #1 bestselling novel of the entire decade.
  • Colin Powell introduced Clancy to his wife, freelance journalist Alexandra Marie Llewellyn.
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute gave Clancy an honorary doctorate in humane letters in 1992. Since then, Clancy has often worked references to the school into his works.
  • Clancy is an honorary Yeomen Warder of the Tower of London, and he holds the title of "Supernumerary Yeomen." His wife nodded to this honor by ordering Clancy a cake shaped like the Tower of London from his 60th birthday.
  • In 1990, Clancy was awarded the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award of Literary Achievement by the Navy League of the United States.
  • BBC Radio 4's sitcom Deep Trouble features a humorous character based on Tom Clancy. The role is played by the show's co-writer Ben Willhold.

Clancy's novels appeal to an incredibly wide audience, making them a wonderful addition to any collection of modern first editions. He's also written several non-fiction books,  which are popular among Tom Clancy collectors and enthusiasts. Which if his works is your favorite?

Kristin Masters
Master Content Brain. You think it, she writes it, no good thought remains unposted. Sprinkles pixie dust on Google+, newsletters, blog, facebook, twitter and just about everything else.


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