Tom Clancy, whose death was announced today, almost single-handedly created the techno-thriller genre and some of his books, including "The Hunt for Red October," have become classics.
The Baltimore author introduced complex military terms to millions of readers, in hefty books that ran hundreds of pages. But he never got lost in the alphabet soup of Pentagon and Kremlin acronyms. He created compelling characters such as Jack Ryan, who was played by Harrison Ford in movies such as "Clear and Present Danger" and "Patriot Games."
The newest Jack Ryan movie, "Jack Ryan: Shadow One," is scheduled for a Christmas Day release. It stars Chris Pine as a young Jack.
Ryan's legacy was extended to younger fans through video games, a perfect match for the genre that he popularized.
Clancy was born in Baltimore and after living away from the city, returned several years ago, in a sprawling, multimillion-dollar condo overlooking the Inner Harbor. He could be seen around town occasionally in his casual attire -- usually with a ball cap slanted over his eyes.
He never drew attention to himself. But sometimes attention sought him out -- like when he applied for a permit to install a shooting range. Hey, what else would a guy like him want?