NEW YORK, JUNE 19, 2013-Vince Flynn, the bestselling author of the Mitch Rapp thriller series died early this morning after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 47.
The fifth of seven children, Vince Flynn was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on April 6, 1966. He graduated from the Saint Thomas Academy in 1984, and the University of St. Thomas with a degree in economics in 1988.
After college he went to work for Kraft General Foods where he was an account and sales marketing specialist.
In 1990 Vince Flynn left Kraft to accept an aviation candidate slot with the United States Marine Corps. However, one week before leaving for Officers Candidate School, he was medically disqualified from the Marine Aviation Program, due to several concussions and convulsive seizures he suffered as a child following a car accident. While trying to obtain a medical waiver for his condition, he started thinking about writing a book, an unusual choice for Flynn since he had been diagnosed with dyslexia in grade school and had struggled with reading and writing all his life.
Having been turned down by the Marine Corps, Flynn returned to the work force and took a job with United Properties, a commercial real estate company in the Twin Cities. During his spare time he worked on an idea he had for a book. After two years with United Properties he decided to devote himself full time to writing: he quit his job, moved to Colorado, and began working full time on what would eventually become his first novel, Term Limits.
While writing Term Limits, Flynn supported himself by bartending at night. After five years and more than sixty rejection letters, he decided to self-publish, which was not as common at that time as it is today. Term Limits went to number one in the Twin Cities area, and within a week Flynn had an agent and garnered a two-book deal with Emily Bestler of Pocket Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint.
First Published by Pocket Books in 1997, Term Limits was a New York Times bestseller in paperback. Since then, his books became perennial bestsellers in hardcover, paperback, and electronic editions, and since the publication of Protect and Defend in 2007, have regularly been #1 New York Times bestsellers. Flynn’s novels have been praised for their extensive research and prescient warnings about the rise of Islamic Radical Fundamentalism and terrorism. His books have been read by current and former presidents, foreign heads of state, and intelligence professionals around the world, and are admired for their verisimilitude and imagination: one high-ranking CIA official told his staff, “I want you to read Flynn's books and start thinking about how we can more effectively wage this war on terror.”
Works by Flynn include American Assassin, Kill Shot, Transfer of Power, The Third Option, Separation of Power, Executive Power, Memorial Day, Consent to Kill, Act of Treason, Extreme Measures, Pursuit of Honor, The Last Man and Term Limits (not part of the Mitch Rapp series). Motion picture rights to Flynn’s character Mitch Rapp have been optioned by CBS Films with the intention of making a character-based, action-thriller movie franchise.
“It has been our distinct honor to publish Vince Flynn for the entire length of his career,” said Carolyn Reidy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Simon & Schuster, Inc. “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. He had a truly unique ability to make everyone - from those of us at Simon & Schuster who were fortunate to be part of his publication, to booksellers and retailers around the nation, and most of all, his readers, with whom he had a very close relationship - 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.”
Vince Flynn is survived by his wife Lysa Flynn, and three children.
Term Limits (1997)
Transfer of Power (1999)
The Third Option (2000)
Separation of Power (2001)
Executive Power (2003)
Memorial Day (2004)
Consent to Kill (2005)
Act of Treason (2006)
Protect and Defend (2007)
Extreme Measures (2008)
Pursuit of Honor (2009)
American Assassin (2010)
Kill Shot (2012)
The Last Man (2012)