Author Tom Clancy dies aged 66

American author Tom Clancy has died aged 66.

Best known for creating the character of fearless CIA analyst Jack Ryan, Clancy was a former insurance broker who made it big with his best-selling spy books.

His name became well-known to movie fans when his novel The Hunt For Red October was adapted into a movie in 1990, with Alec Baldwin playing Ryan.

Red October
gained particular acclaim when it was published in 1984 thanks to the book finding a fan in President Ronald Reagan, who hailed it as a “perfect yarn”.

Since then, four more of Clancy’s Ryan books have been turned into films starring Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck (the author's favourite), with the latest – Jack Ryan: Shadow One starring Chris Pine – due in cinemas in December 2013.

Clancy also had an interest in videogames, having worked on the Splinter Cell series and creating 2006’s Rainbow Six: Critical Hour.

Our thoughts are with Clancy's family at this time.