Best-selling author Tom Clancy, whose political thrillers spawned films such as ""The Hunt for Red October" and "Patriot Games," died in a Baltimore hospital on Tuesday. He was 66.

The author expanded his reach into films adapted from many of his novels, a videogame company and ghost-written novels with his name attached. Most of his works focused on espionage and military science stories during the Cold War.

Movies based on his Jack Ryan series included "The Hunt for Red October," "Patriot Games," "Clear and Present Danger," and "The Sum of All Fears."

One of the top-selling authors of the modern era, he wrote more than 100 books, which were said to have sold more than 50 million copies in total. "A Clear and Present Danger" was the top-selling book of the 1980s, while in the 1990s he broke the two million sold in a single printing record. Though he wasn't considered a masterful writer, his fans appreciated his attention to the technical details of military and intelligence topics.

He founded the videogame company Red Storm Entertainment, which was sold to Ubisoft, which continued to use his name for games such as the "Ghost Recon" series, "Rainbow Six" and "Splinter Cell."

The upcoming Kenneth Branagh film "Jack Ryan: Shadow One" is based on the characters he created. Chris Pine and Kevin Costner star in the release set for Dec. 25. The latest Jack Ryan novel, "Command Authority," will be published December 3.

Born in Baltimore, the politically conservative author dedicated many of his books to figures such as Ronald Reagan, and came under fire after 9/11 for his criticism of the government and the CIA.


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