This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for April 12, 2017: Be Kind

Apr. 12, 2017: birthday: Tom Clancy

Today is the birthday of Tom Clancy (books by this author), born in Baltimore, Maryland (1947). He was the author of many military thrillers, including The Hunt for Red October (1984), Patriot Games (1987), Clear and Present Danger (1989), and The Sum of All Fears (1991). His research was so meticulous, and his books so accurate in the tiniest detail, that they were very popular among members of the armed forces. Video games based on his books are so realistic that the military uses them for training. He was invited to lecture at the Pentagon several times, and he often sat in on weapons briefings. But Clancy — although he had been a naval history buff since he was a kid — never served in the military. He did join the ROTC in college, but his eyesight was terrible, and he was rejected from service

“I tell [aspiring writers] you learn to write the same way you learn to play golf,” he once said. “You do it, and keep doing it until you get it right. A lot of people think something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn’t divinely inspired — it’s hard work.”

Clancy’s last book, which was co-written with Mark Greaney, was Command Authority. It was published in December 2013, just a couple of months after Clancy’s death.