Vince Flynn, a best-selling author of political thriller novels, died early Wednesday morning at United Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 47.

He was best known for his CIA page-turners that starred Mitch Rapp, a counterterrorism operative.

Flynn was born on April 6, 1966, in St. Paul. He graduated from U. of St. Thomas with a degree in economics in 1988. After college, Flynn went on to work for Kraft General Foods as an account and sales marketing specialist.

After leaving his job at Kraft, Flynn accepted an aviation candidate slot with the United States Marine Corps. However he was medically disqualified from the program due to several concussions and convulsive seizures he suffered as a child following a car accident. But this time spent was not for nothing. It was here that Flynn became inspired to write a book, even though he was diagnosed with dyslexia in grade school.

After moving back to the work force and two years at a commercial real estate company, Flynn decided to devote himself full time to writing: he quit his job, moved to Colorado and began working on what would eventually become his first novel, "Term Limits."

Flynn has published 14 novels centered around the Mitch Rapp character. The majority of those novels have made it to the New York Times bestseller list. Flynn self-published "Term Limits," in 1997 before landing a publishing deal.

He sold more than 15 million books in the U.S. alone. Some of his other titles include "American Assassin," "Separation of Power," "Act of Treason" and "Pursuit of Honor." Motion picture rights to Flynn's character Mitch Rapp have been optioned by CBS Films with the intention of making a character-based, action-thriller movie franchise.

Flynn announced in 2011 that he was diagnosed with Stage 3 metastatic prostate cancer but continued to write.

He is survived by his wife Lysa Flynn, and three children.