Tom Clancy, master detective writer, died mysteriously on October 1st, at the age of 66. The reason he was taken before his time is as mysterious as his books. Clancy’s publicists are still not telling. John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore has not released a statement either. The Baltimore Sun announced, most discretely, that the cause of death was, “a brief illness”. No source was provided. His family has added to the intrigue by saying they were not expecting to lose him.
It’s a growing mystery and his son, Thom Clancy, blanketed the tragedy further by tweeting about his father, “One of the last things that dad and I talked about was how grateful he was for his fans. That’s a sentiment that I share right now.” How did it happen? The fans do not appear to be to blame.
66 is not the average age of death; 75% of us will survive to our seventies and many far longer. How did Tom Clancy succumb when he was surrounded by family, success, recognition and wealth? His newest thriller and a pending new release of his latest book, Command Authority, are due for release in December. Mr. Clancy had much to live for.
Clancy’s books are full of intrigue and government underground policies. A writer who reveled in capturing astute technical details of military operations, Clancy could not have written himself an ending like this. It is as if one of the characters from his books appeared with a virus that led to the fatal brief illness. Clancy penned twenty six books and The New York Times’ best-seller list was reached by seventeen of them. The endless research that Clancy treasured combined with a fast and honest story telling style led to many millions of book sales. And none of them could have predicted this mystery and tragedy for Tom Clancy at the age of 66.
The World Health organization recognizes there are new diseases with fatal consequences. Its rule is to create a neutral name for a new virus so that no culture or ethnic group is implicated. In May 2013 they announced, “WHO generally prefers that virus names do not refer to the region or place of the initial detection.” Perhaps they would allow Mr. Clancy’s name to be honored with Unjust Clancy Disease, for a brief illness which creeps into the lives of worthy, brilliant and productive individuals.
The primary causes of death in America are cancer and heart disease. A study released in September by the Journal of Patient Safety notes medical error as the third largest cause of death. Is it possible that Mr. Clancy fell victim to such a horrible event?
27 people have now died from flesh eating bacteria found in the waters of Florida and 50% of all people who catch bloodstream infections, will not survive. Vibrio vulnificus is the name of the flesh eating bacteria but it is a virus that is caught from contaminated seawater and from eating infected oysters. Could the explanation lies here with the oysters? And there are some benefits to eating them; primarily their health benefit is from increased blood flow throughout the body.
Tom Clancy writes of hero’s who survive and, although broken from the claims against them, are steadfast, honest and ultimately successful in their pursuit of truth and honor. How ironic that the underhand, dishonest behavior of a rogue virus, perhaps caused his early death. Tom Clancy is dead at 66, but the cause of death is still a mystery.
By Vicky Judah