Best-selling novelist Vince Flynn passed away Wednesday morning at United Hospital in St. Paul, Minn., following a long battle with prostate cancer, according to USA Today. He was 47 years old.
Flynn was best known to readers as an author of political thriller novels, publishing 14 during his lifetime. All but one of his books featured the character Mitch Rapp, a counter-terrorism operative working for the CIA.
"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," said Simon & Schuster's president and CEO, Carolyn Reidy. "Yes, we will miss the Mitch Rapp stories that are classic modern thrillers, but we will miss Vince even more."
As USA Today points out, Flynn’s first novel, “Term Limits,” was self-published in 1997 after the author received more than 60 rejection letters from various publishing companies. When the book became a surprise hit in Flynn’s native Minnesota, he signed a deal with an imprint of Simon & Schuster, who then published the book nationally. It landed on the New York Times best-seller list.
The character of Mitch Rapp was introduced in Flynn’s second book, “Transfer of Power.” The Rapp series was wildly popular, becoming a regular mainstay on the NYT best-seller list and the bedrock of Flynn’s career.
His final book, “The Last Man,” was published in October 2012.
Flynn’s books were noted for tackling a number of timely issues, such as Islamic radical fundamentalism and terrorism. His political thrillers even attracted some famous fans, including former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton as well as radio personality Rush Limbaugh.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the motion picture rights to the Mitch Rapp character have been purchased by CBS Films, with hopes of creating an action-thriller franchise. In a November 2012 interview with THR, Flynn said that Bruce Willis was attached to star in a screen adaptation of his book “American Assassin.”
Vince Flynn is survived by his wife, Lysa, and their three children.