Tom Clancy, author of military thrillers, co-founder of Rainbow Six studio, dies at 66

Tom Clancy, the prolific author behind a slew of espionage and military books, movies and video games, died at a hospital in Baltimore, Md. Tuesday night. He was 66.

Clancy's death was first reported by Publishers Weekly and later confirmed to the New York Times.

Publisher Penguin Random House tweeted its condolences this morning:

"We are saddened by the passing of beloved bestselling author Tom Clancy. Fans worldwide, including us, will miss him greatly."

Shortly after news of Clancy's death hit, his son used Twitter to thank fans for their support.

"One of the last things that dad and I talked about was how grateful he was for his fans," Thom Clancy wrote. "That's a sentiment that I share right now.

"What matters is that in the end we parted on good terms and the last memory I'll have of him is him with a smile on his face."

While best known for his work as an author, many of his creations were turned into video games including The Hunt for Red October, The Sum of All Fears and Shadow Watch. His impact on the video game industry blossomed when he co-founded Red Storm Entertainment in 1996 with Doug Littlejohns. The studio found its first hit with the release of 1998's tactical shooter Rainbow Six.

"We are humbled by the opportunity to carry on part of his legacy through our properties that bear his name."

Ubisoft purchased the studio in 2000, following the success of that game, a mission pack, and the sequel: Rainbow Six: Rogue SpearIn the years since the 1998 release of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six, there have been 17 Rainbow Six games developed.

Ubisoft also created a number of other popular series using Tom Clancy's name including Ghost Recon (13 games), Splinter Cell (7 games), EndWar, H.A.W.X. and the upcoming The Division.

In 2008, Ubisoft purchased the use of Clancy's name for future games. Seventeen of Clancy's novels were New York Times best-sellers and a number were turned into films.

His next book, Command Authority, is planned for a Dec. 3 release. The next game bearing his name, Tom Clancy's The Division, is set for a release in the fourth quarter of 2014 by Ubisoft.

"We are saddened to learn of Tom Clancy's passing and our condolences go out to his family," reads a post on Ubisoft's official Facebook page. "Tom Clancy was an extraordinary author with a gift for creating detailed, engrossing fictional stories that captivated audiences around the world.

"The teams at Ubisoft, especially at the Red Storm studio, are incredibly grateful to have collaborated with and learned from him, and we are humbled by the opportunity to carry on part of his legacy through our properties that bear his name."

A Ubisoft spokesperson confirmed to Polygon that the publisher will "continue to create games and properties within the Tom Clancy's brand universe."

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