Pop-culture Expert: Tom Clancy Perfected the Political Thriller

Best selling author dead at age 66.


Tom Clancy, the author whose tales of suspense and political intrigue often translated to box office gold in movies such as “The Hunt for Red October” and “Clear and Present Danger,” has died at the age of 66 in Baltimore, Md. Texas Tech’s pop culture expert says Clancy perfected the political thriller.


Rob Weiner, associate librarian and pop culture expert, Texas Tech University Library, (806) 834-5126 office, (806) 780-8775 mobile, or rob.weiner@ttu.edu.


  • “Clancy is one of the most popular authors of his time. He is often placed in the same category as James Patterson and John Grisham in terms of popularity.”
  • “Movies based on his novels were not always blockbusters, but they were popular.”
  • “Clancy perfected the political or military thriller, many of which dealt with 1980s cold war themes.”
  • “Clancy walked that fine line between fact and fiction. There was always a degree of plausibility to his books, as though the situation actually could happen.”
  • “The government often pays close attention to where writers get their information; such was the case with Clancy and others, including Alfred Hitchcock, H.G. Wells and Ian Fleming.”