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.


> See all of Vince Flynn's books

> Visit his website

> Read a lengthy USA Today interview from 2012

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Comments (16)

Such a shame. Along with Iain Banks, two of my favorite authors passed within a week. Thoughts with the families.

Posted by: R McLeod | Wednesday June 19, 2013 at 10:31 AM

So very sad to hear this...had the good fortune to meet Mr. Flynn a few years ago at the Printer's Row book fair in Chicago. He was warm, thoughtful, funny, genuine and very generous with his time. I had been a fan of his books for a long time. After that day, I became a fan of the man as well.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and children.

Posted by: T. Sutter | Wednesday June 19, 2013 at 10:53 AM

This is a tragedy. Husband has loved his books. This is exactly why we still need PSA tests for men. No matter what age, PSA tests can help detect prostate cancer. So sorry for his family. He will be missed.

Posted by: Theresa | Wednesday June 19, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Sad, beyond belief, I've been a fan since the first Book, Term Limits. My prayers go out of the family, he will truly to missed.

Posted by: Charlotte | Wednesday June 19, 2013 at 2:08 PM

I am so sorry to hear this. A thoughtful, wonderful writer with a lot to say. My prayers are with his family.

Posted by: Pam | Wednesday June 19, 2013 at 4:32 PM

just read about the death of Vince Flynn very sorry for his family a great author loved his books he will be sorele missed

Posted by: dominic | Wednesday June 19, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Just heard the sad news. I spent many an hour with he and Mitch Rapp. His personality came through in all his books and allowed us to see a man with a good soul and a healthy dislike for charlatans. He was so young and so clearly in love with his wife and children. I prayed for him to survive this battle but The Big Guy had other plans for him. He will be missed as good men always are.

Posted by: Carol A Storm | Wednesday June 19, 2013 at 5:34 PM

So very sad. Prays for Mrs. Flynn and the children. We will miss the adventures Vince & Mitch took us on. RIP

Posted by: Richard | Wednesday June 19, 2013 at 7:03 PM

OMG I love these books! Always looked forward to the next one! A great writer. He will be missed. Prayers for the whole family!

Posted by: Kelly | Wednesday June 19, 2013 at 7:39 PM

So sad that such a talented author has passed on at such a young age. Thoughts go to his family. Thankyou Vince Flynn for so many hours of wonderful reading in my little home in Australia.

Posted by: angie | Wednesday June 19, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Prayers to his family, we knew Vince's heart and soul through his writings. I selfishly will miss Mitch's next mission but I'm thankful for the many, many hours I spent reading his patriotism to his country just like the man that created him.

Posted by: Gary | Wednesday June 19, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Like his character Mitch, Vince was a very determined and driven human being. I will forever remember his tale about how he managed to get noticed by his publisher.

You left the world a better place Vince.....

Posted by: Denny | Wednesday June 19, 2013 at 9:53 PM

I am from MN.So sorry for his family . He was a very cool guy. You can't get much cooler then Mitch Rapp. My Uncle lives in St Paul and met him. He sent me my first Flynn book." Term limits " I was hooked.
Reading his last book now . I don't want it to end. My sympathys again to his family.

Posted by: Charlene | Thursday June 20, 2013 at 7:51 AM

Oh My God!....I am just devastated of hearing this tragic news about my favorite author of all time. The world has lost truly a great writer at such an early age in the prime of his life. I know all of us fans will know what I mean when I say we will all miss Mitch Rapp but most of all we will all miss Mr. Flynn much more.

Posted by: JoAnn | Thursday June 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

I was deeply saddened by the passing of Vince Flynn. I loved his novels And strongly agreed with his political viewpoint. My deepest sympathy to his family.This hits close to home I just completed radiation for prostate cancer.You have to get it before it spreads beyond the prostate or the odds are very poor. Guys, get that PSA test. I was glad to see that Glen Beck spoke so highly of him and how much he treasured their friendship. I will sorely miss him. I used to eagerly wait for the next novel .We could sure use a few Mitch Rapps now. RIP Vince.


Posted by: Jeff | Thursday June 20, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Thanks Neal Thompson for information, I’ve been shade of the passing; it is a bad news buddy!
I it is real a SAD moment to authors and books addicts. I agree plainly that Vince Flynn was the best selling author. Not only in America, Europe and India, he inspired many growing authors from AFRICA. I personally shared words to Vince and read many books from his writing. My inspiration to write years past rejuvenated from my reading of his bestselling books, known for his page-turning tales of assassins and terrorists. Preferably I have a good read of Term Limits and I am still reading his best The Last Man. One time I asked Flynn “what do you anticipate in your writing” Plainly he answered in my private e-mail that “I like my words to change the world into a good home”. He was and is my model, now I can write good books to cover untold stories from my continent across nations.
Because of my admiration to Lynn, I now have three books live on you can visit my page and see. I like books in list you can read Away From Home: Spying The Impossible (A novel), Lost In Lies: Morning Shadow (A play) and recently published a political anticipation about president Obama to Africa. It goes by a Title Lifeless Promise: The African Cause Of underdevelopment
It is a moment to remember Flynn in action not empty words by reading his writings and writing beyond his anticipation to fill the empty store from his craft.
We’ll miss you Lynn, but you’ll remain in our heart forever!
NOTES: Gone is the past, let us mold the present and anticipate the future. I am the growing author and I want to reach the moon. May you kindly review my mentioned books above where I can gain the momentum of climbing the mountain?
I welcome criticism which can change my mood into the positive direction.
Start now!

Posted by: Dotto Nshimba | Sunday June 23, 2013 at 7:30 PM

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