What was Tom Clancy’s net worth?

Tom Clancy was an American author and producer who had a net worth of $300 million at the time of his death in 2013. Tom Clancy was an American author best known for his technically detailed espionage and military science novels. His writing career began with the publication of “The Hunt for Red October” in 1984, which became an unexpected bestseller and launched him to fame.

Clancy’s novels often featured his most famous character, Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst who rises to become U.S. President. His books were praised for their accuracy in depicting military technology and operations, earning him a devoted following among readers and respect from military personnel. All but two of Clancy’s novels features the characters of Jack Ryan or John Clark. Clancy wrote or co-wrote over 20 novels, many of which topped bestseller lists. Several of his books were adapted into successful films, including “Patriot Games,” “Clear and Present Danger,” and “The Sum of All Fears.”

Beyond novels, Clancy expanded his brand into other media. He co-founded a video game company, Red Storm Entertainment, which produced games based on his works. He lent his name to a series of non-fiction books about military units and technology. In 1993, Clancy, along with a group of investors bought the MLB’s Baltimore Orioles. His initial $42 million investment eventually earned his estate a $230 million pretax profit.

Clancy received the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement from the Navy League of the United States in 1990. Tom Clancy died on October 1, 2013, of an undisclosed illness. He was 66-years-old. Clancy was survived by his wife, Alexandra, their daughter, and four children from his first marriage.

Early Life

Tom Clancy was born Thomas Leo Clancy Jr on April 12, 1947 in Baltimore County, Maryland. He graduated from Baltimore’s Loyola University in 1969 with a degree in English literature. After college, Clancy joined the Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps, but he never saw active military duty because of his extreme nearsightedness. After graduating from the Training Corps, he went to work for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1973, Clancy went to work for the O.F. Bowen Agency, a small Owings, Maryland based insurance agency founded by his wife’s grandfather. In 1980 he purchased the insurance agency from his wife’s grandfather and wrote novels in his spare time.

In his free time, Tom wrote his debut novel “The Hunt For Red October.” Clancy was 38 years old when the novel was published. He had been working as an insurance agent for 15 years.


Clancy started writing “The Hunt for Red October” in 1982. He sold it to the Naval Institute Press in 1984 for $5,000. Clancy had hoped to sell 5,000 copies of his book, that was his measure of success. The book was a huge hit. President Ronald Reagan was a vocal fan of the “The Hunt for Red October.” Reagan’s endorsement helped boost sales to an astounding 300,000 hardcover and two million paperback, making it a national bestseller. By 1988, Clancy had earned $1.3 million from “The Hunt for Red October”.

When it came time to do his next book deal in 1988, Clancy was paid $3 million for three novels. In 1997, Penguin Putnam paid Clancy $97 million for the worldwide rights for to a multi-book/multi-media deal. The ABC television miniseries “Tom Clancy’s Net Force” was born out of this deal.

What Clancy did, knowingly or not, was savvy. He tapped into the deeply American subject of being obsessed with our military. He then wrote meticulously researched thrillers that focused on political intrigue and military tactics. In “The Hunt for Red October,” Clancy introduced the character Jack Ryan. Ryan went on to become the protagonist of most of his novels. His characters and stories also provided the inspiration for the “Rainbow Six”, “Ghost Recon”, and “Splinter Cell” video game series. In fact, in 2008, the French video game company Ubisoft purchased the use of Clancy’s name for an undisclosed sum.

Clancy was one of only three authors to sell two million copies of a first printing in the 1990s. Clancy’s 1989 novel “Clear and Present Danger” sold 1,625,544 hardcover copies, making it the #1 bestselling novel of the 1980s.

Clancy has had five feature movies made from his books: “The Hunt for Red October”, “Patriot Games”, “Clear and Present Danger”, “The Sum of All Fears”, and “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.”

In 2018, Amazon debuted a series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” starring John Krasinski.

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Personal Life

Tom was married to Wanda Thomas King from 1969 to 1999. They had four daughters. On June 26, 1999 Clancy wed freelance journalist Alexandra Marie Llewellyn. They met through her second cousin, former Secretary of Defense Colin Powell. Alexandra’s father, J. Bruce Llewellyn, was one of the wealthiest African American businessmen in the country in the 1990s and 2000s. His net worth, which was earned through a Coca-Cola Bottling empire co-owned with Bill Cosby and other investors, was estimated to be at least $160 million. Tom and Alexandra had one child together, a daughter.

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Wealth and Estate

Tom Clancy died on October 1st, 2013 from heart disease. According to a lawsuit soon after his death, Clancy left behind liquid assets worth a minimum of $83 million. That did not include the intellectual property rights values to his various franchises and characters. He also owned a 12% stake in the Baltimore Orioles, an impressive collection of military memorabilia and a 535 acre estate in rural Maryland. In total, Clancy was worth around $300 million at the time of his death.

In his will, Tom left 80% of the rights to his recurring royalties and rights related to the “Jack Ryan” character to his second wife. The remaining 20% was evenly divided among his five children (which included his child with Alexandra). This was upsetting to his first wife and older four daughters. Tom and Wanda were married when he conceived of the Jack Ryan character. A bitter years-long lawsuit ensued resulting in a complicated financial structure that does today benefits Wanda.

Tom’s stake in the Orioles, which he purchased for $42 million in 1993, was eventually sold for $230 million.

Real Estate

His Baltimore penthouse was put up for sale in November 2015 for $12 million.

His 535-acre water-view Maryland estate was acquired in 1987 for $800,000. The estate was listed for sale in 2018 for $6.2 million. It was sold in August 2020 for $4.9 million.

In 2017 Alexandra paid $8.5 million for a Beverly Hills mansion. Today she controls his estate, which produces $10-20 million per year in revenue and includes a rebooted Amazon Prime “Jack Ryan” show starring John Krasinski.

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