Thirty years ago, Tom Clancy was a Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history. Years before, he had been an English major at Baltimore's Loyola College and had always dreamed of writing a novel. His first effort, THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, sold briskly as a result of rave reviews, then catapulted onto the New York Times bestseller list after President Reagan pronounced it "the perfect yarn." From that point, Clancy established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense. Clancy passed away on October 1, 2013 at the age of 66.