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Best-selling author Vince Flynn, who wrote the Mitch Rapp counterterrorism thriller series and sold more than 15 million books in the U.S. alone, died Wednesday in Minnesota after a more than two-year battle with prostate cancer, according to friends and his publisher. He was 47.
Flynn was supporting himself by bartending when he self-published his first novel, ``Term Limits,'' in 1997 after getting more than 60 rejection letters. After it became a local best-seller, Pocket Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint, signed him to a two-book deal _ and "Term Limits'' became a New York Times best-seller in paperback.
The St. Paul-based author also sold millions of books in the international market and averaged about a book a year, most of them focused on Rapp, a CIA counterterrorism operative. His 14th novel, "The Last Man,'' was published last year.
"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 Carolyn Reidy, president and CEO of his publisher, Simon & Schuster. "Yes, we will miss the Mitch Rapp stories that are classic modern thrillers, but we will miss Vince even more.''
Flynn died at a hospital in St. Paul, surrounded by about 35 relatives and friends who prayed the Rosary, said longtime family friend Kathy Schneeman. She said his deep Catholic faith was an important part of his character.
"That's what he would have liked. He talks about his faith just as much as he would talk about politics and current events with our group of friends,'' Schneeman said.
Flynn was born to an Irish Catholic family in St. Paul, the fifth of seven children. After graduating with an economics degree from the University of St. Thomas in 1988, he went to work as an account and sales marketing specialist with Kraft General Foods. That marketing background later came in handy as he promoted "Term Limits.''
Wanting a new challenge, he quit Kraft in 1990 when he landed an aviation candidate slot with the Marine Corps, but he was later disqualified due to seizures he suffered following a childhood car accident. Thwarted from becoming a military aviator, he got the idea of writing thrillers.
"If (Tom) Clancy could do it, why can't I?'' Flynn said in a 2005 interview with The Associated Press.
He went to work for the Twin Cities based commercial real estate company United Properties and started working on a book idea in his spare time. Two years later, he quit so he could devote more time to writing and moved to Colorado. He began working on what became "Term Limits,'' a story about assassins who targeted fat-cat congressmen.
Flynn was diagnosed with stage three metastatic prostate cancer in November 2010. The fatigue from his radiation treatments eventually made it difficult to focus on writing for more than an hour or two, and in October 2011, he reluctantly postponed publication for several months of his 13th book, "Kill Shot,'' which followed Rapp's adventures as he pursued those responsible for the bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.
Flynn is survived by his wife, Lysa Flynn, and three children.
One of the few things that help make California's real estate affordable for many individuals and families is Proposition 13, which was approved by voters on June 6, 1978. Prop 13 decreased property taxes, in 1978, to 1975 levels. Prop 13 limits the maximum tax rate on real estate to 1% of the cash value of the property.
Many believe Prop 13 has crippled California by limiting the amount of money the state can collect. And many believe Prop 13 has allowed millions of people to be able to afford the American Dream.
Whatever you believe, the California Assembly has passed Constitutional Amendment 8 to repeal Prop 13’s requirement that local "special taxes" be approved by a 2/3 vote. The amendment lowers that threshold to 55%.
Interestingly, the move was made this past weekend when very few were paying attention.
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association was paying attention and you can read about it right here.
Every year we see lists of stupid gifts that dads "want."
Chad Little gets 100% on his written driver test. Way to go Chad!
The worst thing about a blog like mine is that it rarely gets updated because I have so many other things, and yes I include people in the "things" category, draining my time.
In 10 minutes I have a conference call with a bunch of tech people to discuss some technical issues related to our news department that I don’t understand. It all has to do with nobody wanting to do what they should do to provide us with a news delivery platform that they can be proud of. OK, there’s your inside look at the headaches of working for a large corporation.
Also, our family just put our house up for sale yesterday. In preparation for the mid-week open house we had, I had to hide my watch collection and my prescription medication. I've just sort of collected this stuff over the years. I’m like a pharmacy. I hid Vicodin, Fiorinol and two other types of painkillers that I could be selling in the lunchroom.
Out of time again. Let’s hope everything is spelled correctly.
Apparently teenagers aren’t too concerned about privacy. A new report says less than 10% of our future leaders spend much time thinking about social media privacy.
Remember Kmart's Ship My Pants campaign? This is a good follow up.
Maybe it's their non-mainstream fashion sensibility, tight jeans and neon nail polish. Or their taste in music. Or that just-outta-bed look. Whatever it is, a lot of Americans have had enough of the hipsters.
The latest survey by Public Policy Polling shows 42% of us aren't fond of hipsters and 43% don't know what to think.
The poll also shows some people think PBR is good beer. Not many, but some.
Every now and then (or as they say in Georgia: every now and again) I wander into work with my zipper down; my barn door open. Yes, you are correct, there is no good reason for this to happen.
Today I wore Levi's with a button fly, and I am certain that I securely slipped each button through that thing the buttons slip through.
Once I arrived at work, I noticed I had missed one.
I'm going to start wearing Capris.