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An American voice for all

October 10, 2013

 

CHAD MERRITT
Associate Editor

 

MERRITT

MERRITT

One of the greatest novelists of our generation has passed away. Tom Clancy died Oct. 1 at the age of 66.

 

Clancy’s found success quickly; his first novel, “The Hunt for Red October,” earned the praise of President Ronald Reagan.

 

Of the 26 novels he wrote, 17 of them reached no. 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. The last novel he wrote, “Command Authority,” will be released on Dec. 3.

 

Made famous by his novels, Clancy’s reach extended far beyond his written word. Forty-three video games bear his name and five movies were made from his novels. A sixth movie based on one of his novels will be released on Christmas day.

 

Whilst becoming a household name to those who read his novels, the government also took exception to Clancy. His impressive knowledge and realistic depictions of military vehicles and scenarios had members of the government and military taking notice to Clancy.

 

When asked about his vast knowledge of military technologies, Clancy always responded that he studied diagrams and took tours to grow his knowledge. This is impressive for a man whose military career consisted of ROTC classes at his college. His near-sightedness kept him from enlisting in the military.

 

Beyond his accomplishments through his novels, Clancy was also influential in a number of other areas.

 

He was a central figure in getting the NFL to return to his native Baltimore, and was also a key person in the construction of Camden Yards, the home ballpark of the Baltimore Orioles.

 

Outspoken in his political matters, Clancy was never one to bite his tongue. He stated that former Secretary of State Colin Powell is one of his favorite and most respected people he has ever met. On the other hand, he felt the exact opposite about people such as former President of the World Bank Group Paul Wolfowitz.

 

He found the spotlight in a unique way after Sept. 11, 2001. One of Clancy’s novels features a commercial airliner crashing into the U.S. Capitol building, killing the President and most of Congress. The plot from his novel had strong similarities to the Sept. 11 attack. Clancy wrote this novel, though, in 1994.

 

However outspoken over political matters, he and his novels remained popular throughout his time.

 

The popularity of his novels puts him in a group with John Grisham and J. K. Rowling in terms of success. One of his novels, “Clear and Present Danger,” was the top selling novel of the 1980s. More than 100 million copies of Clancy’s novels are in print today.

 

Military non-fiction will never be the same. Clancy’s novels captured his readers like none other with his tales of patriotism. His legacy and impact will stand the test of time.

 

Chad Merritt is a senior journalism major from Livingston who serves as associate editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to cam059@latech.edu.

 

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