Tom Clancy: The Man Behind the Warfare

Nick Nagle

Many people know the name “Tom Clancy” from popular video games such as Splinter Cell, the Division, and Ghost Recon: Wildlands. However, many do not know the origins of these video games and the man behind the masterpieces.

Tom Clancy was born on April 12, 1947, in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended a private Catholic school in Towson, Maryland until he graduated in 1965. After high school, Clancy studied at Loyola University in Baltimore. He graduated in 1969 with a degree in English literature. During his time in college, he joined the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, but he was ineligible to serve due to his nearsightedness which required him to wear thick eyeglasses. In 1980, Tom Clancy purchased an insurance agency from his wife’s grandmother. While working there, he began to write novels in his free time. Clancy published his debut novel, The Hunt for Red October, in 1984.

Tom Clancy continued to write more novels for 29 years (first starting in 1984 up until his death in 2013). His books mainly revolve around war, military, and crime nonfiction and fiction. Clancy was most active as an accomplished writer during and after the Cold War. His work clearly reflects the international events of the 80s and early 90s. With novels such as The Sum of All Fears and Patriot Games, Clancy paints a vivid picture of warfare and all it ensues such as terrorism and territorial disputes. Truly a remarkable writer of the time, Tom Clancy brought those to war who wanted to stay within the confines and comfort of their own homes.

Unfortunately, Tom Clancy died on October 1, 2013, of an undisclosed illness, however, Clancy’s co-writer, John Gresham, has stated that Clancy had a heart attack years before and this time his heart just wore out. Nonetheless, Tom Clancy left a lasting legacy in the war genre for all to experience and enjoy. Although many may not know the books he has written, Clancy’s name lives on through a variety of video games which include The Division (2016), Rainbow Six Seige (2015), Splinter Cell (2002-2013), and Ghost Recon: Wildlands (2017). If you were like me, then you probably wondered too who this “Tom Clancy” person really was in all of these game titles. He is the one behind it all. He is the man behind the warfare. His legacy will live on throughout history in the video games and books we have grown to love.