TOM CLANCY DEAD AT 66 thumbnail

The Hunt for Red October is OVER! Spy franchise kingpin TOM CLANCY dead at 66.

Clancy the best-selling author whose riotous espionage thrillers set the standard for purported military accuracy, died Tuesday night, the New York Times reported.

The writer’s publisher told the newspaper that Clancy passed away in a Baltimore hospital near his Maryland home.

Clancy published his first book, "The Hunt for Red October," in 1984. The novel sold more than five million copies, and became the basis for a hit 1990 film starring Alec Baldwin and Sean COnnery.

By 1988, Clancy had netted a $3 million contract  with Putnam Penguin Publishing for his next three books.

Reportedly, the Clancy brand name was spearheaded by an army of ghosts who did all the heavy lifting on his books and video game franchises

Clancy actually began his career working in an independent insurance agency where the only writing he did was actuarial tables.

Clancy’s named as the author of twenty books, including multiple bestsellers.

Several including "Clear and Present Danger" and "Patriot Games" were also adapted into blockbuster films.