Celebrated crime and military thriller author Tom Clancy died on Tuesday, October 1, aged 66 in a hospital in Baltimore.

Clancy is the author of the popular Jack Ryan series and his books were often on the New York Times bestseller list. Many of his books explore fictionalized accounts of the aftermath of the Cold War. Four of his books, including “The Hunt for Red October” and “Clear and Present Danger” have been made into films. The Huffington Post reported that Ivan Held, president of Clancy’s publisher Putnam Books, said he “was a thrill to work with.”

Clancy was a bit of a master of all trades. He also wrote several nonfiction books, including his “Guided Tours” which take his readers inside nuclear warships and Air Force combat wings. He co-founded Red Storm Entertainment, a video game developer that creates games, mostly based off the plots of his books, such as “Rainbow Six.”

Born in Baltimore in 1947, Clancy read widely about naval history from a young age. He majored in English at Loyola College and wanted to join the military, but was too nearsighted to qualify.

Clancy was working as an insurance salesman when he sold his first novel to the Naval Institute Press for $5,000. The Press had never published a novel before, but was captivated by his manuscript and agreed to publish it after Clancy cut out some of the technical descriptions.

His novel took off after President Ronald Reagan said it was “my kind of yarn” and that he couldn’t put it down. Clancy’s following novels enjoyed almost instant success.

He was praised for his mastery of technical details. He said in an interview, “When I met Navy Secretary John Lehman last year, the first thing he asked me about the book was, ‘Who the hell cleared it?’” Clancy was amused by the frequent claims that he used classified information in his novels. Although he spent time on military bases, visited the Pentagon and dined with high-level military officials, he insisted he did not want to know any classified information. Clancy wanted to get the details right.

His next book “Command Authority” is planned for publication on December 3, 2013.