Bestselling Tom Clancy died last night at a hospital in Baltimore, his publisher has confirmed.
Clancy was an insurance broker before becoming a writer, and he was known for his intensely detailed espionage and military science plots.
His last novel, Command Authority, is set to be published on December 5.
The author was also well-known for creating video games, some based on his books and others on original storylines.
In 1996, he co-founded the video game developer Red Storm Entertainment and went on to work on several of the company's most successful games, including Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell.
Film adaptations of Clancy's works brought in hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.
Clear and Present Danger (1994), starring Harrison Ford, earned $215m worldwide and was nominated for two Academy Awards in the technical categories.