Tom Clancy, one of the most recognizable and iconic names in the media industry, has passed away in a Baltimore, Maryland hospital at the age of 66. The author of a library of best-selling books, Clancy helped shape the spy thriller genre with his poignant and suspenseful novels that blurred the lines between fiction and reality.

Tom Clancy Acclaimed writer Tom Clancy dies at age 66

Clancy’s legacy stretches across a myriad of celebrated written works, many of which were adapted into commercially successful feature length films, as well as the popular tactical gaming franchises Splinter Cell. Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon.

The famed writer’s colorful career has influenced the genre of tactical espionage action, and many would even go so far to say that Clancy defined the genre for the modern age.

His novels tackle political espionage in a grand scale and include unforgettable thrillers like Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games, The Hunt for Red October and The Sum of All Fears–all of which have been featured on the big screen with performances from actors like Harrison Ford, Sean Connery and Ben Affleck.

Sam Fisher Acclaimed writer Tom Clancy dies at age 66

Tom Clancy’s legacy influenced the popular tactical espionage video game series Splinter Cell, which incorporated many central themes associated with Clancy’s work.

Jack Ryan–the quintessential CIA Agent hero that serves as the protagonist for many of Clancy’s works–is set to return to the big screen this year in Jack Ryan: Shadow One.

While the world has lost one of the most talented authors to tackle the genre, his legacy will live on in the form of books, movies and video games that have all been shaped by his influence.

Via IGN