Simon & Schuster received the sad news this morning that Vince Flynn, bestselling author of the beloved Mitch Rapp series of thrillers, has passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer. Carolyn Reidy, President and CEO of Simon & Schuster, sent the following announcement to the company:

It is with great sadness that I report that Vince Flynn died early this morning after a long and brave battle with prostate cancer. 

Vince was first published by Pocket Books in 1997, but his path to publication was not straightforward.  After graduating from college and working for Kraft Foods, and then attempting to attend aviation school with the United States Marine Corps, he began to think about writing a book, an unusual choice as he had been diagnosed with dyslexia in grade school and had struggled with reading and writing all his life.  He quit a job in real estate and supported himself by bartending at night so that he could devote himself full-time to writing what would eventually become his first novel, Term Limits.  But 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 now.    Term Limits went to number one in Vince’s native Twin Cities, and within a week he had an agent and a two-book deal with Pocket Books.

Term Limits went on to be a New York Times bestseller in paperback. Since then, his books have been 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, and motion picture rights to his protagonist Mitch Rapp have been optioned by CBS Films 

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 all of us at Atria and Emily Bestler Books, Pocket Books, Audio, and the larger Simon & Schuster family 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.

I know that you will join me in wishing Vince’s wife Lysa, his three children, and the rest of his family and friends our deepest condolences, and in honoring and celebrating the memory of an author whose work we have been privileged to publish.

Flynn will be missed by colleagues and readers alike.