Best-selling author Tom Clancy dies at 66

Published: Wednesday, October 02, 2013 @ 10:39 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 02, 2013 @ 11:31 AM

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Best-selling author Tom Clancy died Tuesday after a brief illness at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Clancy was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and wrote technically detailed espionage and military science books.

He wrote best-selling books such as "Patriot Games," "Clear and Present Danger," and "The Hunt for Red October." 

His next book, “Command Authority,” is planned for publication on Dec. 3. The film "Jack Ryan: Shadow One" starring Chris Pine is set to open in theaters on Dec. 25. Jack Ryan is the main character in some of Clancy's best-selling books.

The New York Times reports Ivan Held, the president of G.P. Putnam’s Sons, his publisher, did not provide a cause of death.

"He was a thrill to work with," Held told The Times.

Clancy arrived on best-seller lists in 1984 with "The Hunt for Red October." He sold the manuscript to the first publisher he tried, the Naval Institute Press, which had never bought original fiction.

A string of other best-sellers soon followed, including "Red Storm Rising," ''Patriot Games," ''The Cardinal of the Kremlin," ''Clear and Present Danger," ''The Sum of All Fears," and "Without Remorse."

Clancy had said his dream had been simply to publish a book, hopefully a good one, so that he would be in the Library of Congress catalog. Four of his books, "The Hunt for Red October," ''Patriot Games," ''Clear and Present Danger," and "the Sum of All Fears" were later made into movies, with a fifth based on his desk-jockey CIA hero, "Jack Ryan," set for release later this year.

Born in Baltimore on April 12, 1947 to a mailman and his wife, Clancy entered Loyola College as a physics major, but switched to English as a sophomore, saying later that he wasn't smart enough for the rigors of science.

Ironically, his novels carried stiff doses of scientific data and military detail.

After graduation in 1969, he married his wife Wanda and joined her family's insurance business, all the while scribbling down ideas for a novel.

In 1979, Clancy began "Patriot Games," in which he invented his hero, CIA agent Jack Ryan. In 1982, he put it aside and started "The Hunt For Red October," basing it on a real incident in November 1979, in which a Soviet missile frigate called the Storozhevoy attempted to defect.

In real life, the ship didn't make it, but in Clancy's book, the defection is a success.

By a stroke of luck, President Reagan got "Red October" as a Christmas gift and quipped at a dinner that he was losing sleep because he couldn't put the book down — a statement Clancy later said helped put him on the New York Times best-seller list.

It led to a string of hits, both on the page and in Hollywood blockbusters. He even ventured into video games with the best-selling "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier," ''Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction" and "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent."

The latest Jack Ryan movie, directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Chris Pine, is set for release in the U.S. on Christmas Day. Keira Knightly plays Jack Ryan's wife and Kevin Costner plays his mentor at the CIA.

Clancy resided in rural Calvert County, Md., and in 1993 he joined a group of investors led by Baltimore attorney Peter Angelos who bought the Baltimore Orioles from businessman Eli Jacobs.

Clancy also attempted to bring a NFL team to Baltimore in 1993, but he later dropped out of the effort.

According to Business Insider, in 1996, Clancy co-founded the video game developer Red Storm Entertainment and has had his name on several of Red Storm's most successful games. 

Red Storm was later bought by publisher Ubisoft Entertainment for an undisclosed sum.

6 things you may not know about this transient musician

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 1:20 PM

            Nicholas Johnson, who now lives in Milan, Italy, spent six years in Dayton, where he recorded his new EP, Shady Pines Vol. 1, at Patrick Himes Reel Love Recording Studio. CONTRIBUTED
Nicholas Johnson, who now lives in Milan, Italy, spent six years in Dayton, where he recorded his new EP, Shady Pines Vol. 1, at Patrick Himes Reel Love Recording Studio. CONTRIBUTED

Musician Nicholas Johnson has lived in a variety of spots since he was born 36 years ago in Bowling Green, Ky. He currently lives in Milan, Italy, but he spent time in Dayton, where he recorded his newly released EP, “Shady Pines Vol. 1,” at Patrick Himes’ Reel Love Recording Studio.

Johnson recently discussed his life and music.

Dirty jobs: “The summer after graduating from Western Kentucky University, a guy I grew up with asked me to join him on a pipefitting job. He asked me on a Thursday and I was in Moriarty, N.M., on Monday to work. I had left Bowling Green, Ky. for good.”

Buffing and grinding: “I worked as a welder helper for Union 798 in New Mexico, Rawlins, Wyo., Savannah, Ga., Ashland, Ky., Champaign, Ill., Indianapolis, Ind., and Binghamton, N.Y. I’d work my butt off from 6 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. buffing and grinding welds all day and then I’d play bars and clubs whenever I could at night, sometimes the full 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.”

Gem City connection: “I lived in both Miamisburg and Springboro for around six years, from 2010 to 2016. It’s definitely ‘home’ to me. I’ve been fairly transient since 2006 and the Dayton area is where I lived the longest and felt the most settled.”

Playing live: “When I first moved to Dayton, I’d just completed my first album, ‘Upstate,’ and I was itching to play it out live. I put out a Craigslist ad for musicians and, luckily, the first to respond was my very good friend Max Nunery of the Repeating Arms and Old News. We played around Dayton and Cincinnati for a short amount of time and we kind of fizzled out and I continued doing solo gigs.”

Reel Love: “The recording experience was extraordinary. Patrick is a genius: plain and simple. He helped me to flesh the songs out to match the intensity of the live show. And we made it into a fun, collective experience. We brought in Brian Hoeflich for drums, Khrys Blank on backing vocals and Max on banjo and lap steel. Patrick busted out the bass, organ and lead guitar.”

European living: “We moved to Italy in May of 2016. My wife was given the opportunity to transfer to Milan, so we decided to take the plunge. We sold the house in Springboro and two vehicles and we went on our way, and took our dogs too! It’s been the most rewarding experience of both of our lives.”

‘Game of Thrones’ actor Peter Dinklage, wife Erica Schmidt celebrate birth of 2nd child

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 7:37 AM

"Game of Thrones" actor Peter Dinklage and his wife, playwright/director Erica Schmidt, welcomed their second child recently.(Bruce Glikas)

“Game of Thrones” actor Peter Dinklage and his wife, Erica Schmidt, welcomed their second child, Us Weekly reported Friday.

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It is the second child for the couple. Their daughter was born in 2011, Us Weekly reported.

The couple did not publicly confirm the second pregnancy, but Us Weekly confirmed they were spotted with their newborn at a concert in September.

Dinkage plays the part of Tyrion Lannister on “Game of Thrones,” which ended its seventh season in August.

Irwin family returning to Animal Planet 20 years after ‘Crocodile Hunter’

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 8:52 PM

What You Need To Know About The Irwin Family

The Irwin family is returning to TV and Animal Planet 21 years after “The Crocodile Hunter” premiered in 1996.

In a Wednesday news release, Discovery Communications said Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin will be working on TV projects on Animal Planet, which is owned by Discovery Communications.

The Irwins are carrying on the legacy of their late patriarch, Steve Irwin, who spent his life learning about and educating others about wildlife, particularly reptiles. He died in 2006 when a stingray’s barb pierced his heart.

“Steve Irwin was a champion for all wildlife and he and Terri’s excitement and enthusiasm brought viewers from around the world in touch with nature,” Animal Planet general manager Patrice Andrews said in a statement. “Their passion for animals, love for their family, and leadership in conservation awareness left a strong legacy that continues today.”

Soul mates - in this life and every other. True love lasts always.

A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on

Terri Irwin, Steve Irwin’s widow and mother of Bindi, 19, and Robert, 13, said in a statement that she and her children are excited to be returning to the network.

“We look forward to the year ahead as we embark on new projects and adventures with Animal Planet,” she said.

“The Crocodile Hunter” aired from 1996-2007. Husband and wife Steve and Terri Irwin co-hosted and their two children frequently made appearances. Other shows the Irwins hosted included “Croc Files” and “New Breed Vets.”

In addition to TV projects, the Irwins will be global ambassadors for Discovery Communications.

Family forever❤️

A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on

Playboy features first transgender Playmate

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 2:55 AM

French model Ines Rau is the first transgender Playmate in the history of Playboy magazine.
Nicholas Hunt
French model Ines Rau is the first transgender Playmate in the history of Playboy magazine.(Nicholas Hunt)

Ines Rau became the first transgender Playmate, as the French model is in a pictorial and centerfold for the magazine’s November/December issue, the magazine announced.

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Rau previously appeared in the magazine’s May 2014 A-Z issue.

“It’s how I celebrated my coming out, actually,” Rau told the magazine. “I took that chance, and then I signed with an agency.”

Although Rau is the first transgender Playmate, she isn’t Playboy’s first transgender model, Cosmopolitan reported. The first was Tula, who appeared in the September 1991 issue. 

Hugh Hefner, the founder and publisher of Playboy, died on Sept. 27. He becomes the first man to appear solo -- and 11th overall -- on the cover of the magazine. A 1965 photograph by Larry Gordon was used to pay tribute to Hefner, the magazine said. The first six pages of the November/December issue are dedicated to Hefner, who published the first issue of Playboy in December 1953..

In a tweet Wednesday, Hefner’s son Cooper Hefner, the magazine’s chief creative officer, said that the magazine and society “should be fighting for a more open world.”