Vince Flynn (1966-2013)

FlynnBestselling author Vince Flynn, known for his page-turning tales of assassins and terrorists, CIA agents and crooked politicians, died early this morning. Flynn had been diagnosed in 2011 with late-stage prostate cancer. His death was announced by his publisher, Carolyn Reidy, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster.

“As good as Vince was on the page--and he gave millions of readers countless hours of pleasure--he was even more engaging in person,” Reidy said in a statement. “He had a truly unique ability to make everyone … feel as if we were on his team and sharing in his life and his success.

"Yes, we will miss the Mitch Rapp stories that are classic modern thrillers, but we will miss Vince even more.”

A constant presence on bestseller lists, Flynn was best known for his steely counter-terrorism operative, Mitch Rapp. Flynn’s devout fans rarely had to wait more than a year for a new Mitch Rapp political thriller. His most recent book, 2012's The Last Man, received more than two-thousand customer reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Flynn took a unique path to bestseller status. After graduating from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul he worked for Kraft General Foods. He attempted to join the Marine Corps, with hopes of becoming an aviator, but was medically disqualified from the Marine Aviation Program. He then returned to a 9-to-5 job, but quit and began bartending at night so could write full time. He self published his first book, the 1997 techno-thriler Term Limits, which became a bestseller and led to a publishing deal with Simon & Schuster.

Though popular across a wide swath of readers, Flynn's books were especially embraced by well-known political conservatives. (Flynn was friends with Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.) Flynn attributed this to his books' patriotic and pro-military themes, and he once said that he felt his books were "entertainment, educational and serve as cautionary tales."

Flynn wrote many of his novels at his cabin on Deer Lake, in Wisconsin. He told USA Today in 2012 that he'd often grab a yelow legal pad and float on the lake in his pontoon boat, glass of red wine at hand, scribbling Mitch Rapp's latest adventure "like a maniac."

Flynn is survived by his wife Lysa and three children.

MORE:

> See all of Vince Flynn's books

> Visit his website

> Read a lengthy USA Today interview from 2012

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