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Full Name: John Clark
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Tom Clancy
Time Span: 1988 - 2017


John Clark is an agent with the CIA.

Well, he is for quite a few years of his life. He had a life before then and he definitely had a life after his time with the Agency but when we first meet him he is an agent in very good standing. In those time after he was pushed out of the CIA it could be said 'he is an agent with Rainbow Six' or 'he is the Operations Director of The Campus' (more on them in a moment).

Born John Kelly in Indiana towards the end of the Second World War, he attended parochial school growing up and even went to a Jesuit Preparatory School before changing directions. That change took him into the Navy and into becoming a SEAL not long after that group came into existence. His service would take him to Vietnam where he would be involved in several deadly operations which would in turn result in his being highly decorated. A Silver Star, A Bronze Star, a Navy Cross, and three Purple Hearts, among other things would find their way into his record.

When his tour in Southeast Asia was over, Clark left the military but was soon approached by the CIA with an offer to be part of the Special Activities Division and a return to Vietnam to mount a POW rescue mission. Before he left for it, he wrapped up a personal war with drug dealers in Baltimore which had resulted in the death of a young woman close to him. Unfortunately since the police had evidence that it was Kelly (Clark) who was behind the deaths of several less-than-pleasant individuals and looking at a life behind bars, John Kelly 'died' and John Clark came to be. Having a major government bureau like the CIA take care of the details helped immensely.

During his life in the Intelligence community, Clark would work for the CIA and then, when an idea presented by Clark resulted in the creation of a NATO response team to be quickly deployed to handle terrorist activity, he would be the one to head one of the teams. After that when political winds start to change, Clark would be a major player in an off-the-books organization called The Campus.

Not bad for a dead man.


Number of Books:14
First Appearance:1988
Last Appearance:2017

       Initially a character in the terrific Jack Ryan series, John Clark got his own book which was a fascinating look into his life and how he became the man he was. After a couple more books in the Ryan universe, he became the head of his own action group. Eventually he would move to a private intelligence force and be an important, albeit not so active, part of the Jack Ryan, jr series. Pretty good pedigree.


Number of Movies:2
First Appearance:1994
Last Appearance:2002

1 Clear And Present Danger Clear And Present Danger
Director: Phillip Noyce
Writers: Donald Stewart, Steven Zaillian, John Milius, Tom Clancy
Actors: Willem DaFoe as John Clark, Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan
Released: 1994

The President orders an illegal war against the drug cartel and Ryan is sucked into it. He is smart enough to see his situation and fights to clear his name and save lives. John Clark heads the team going into Columbia and joins with Ryan to get them out again.

2 The Sum Of All Fears The Sum Of All Fears
Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Writers: Paul Attanasio, Daniel Pyne, Tom Clancy
Actors: Liev Schreiber as John Clark, Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan
Released: 2002

A terrorist group wants to force a division between the US and the newly elected Russian government and is planning a nuclear attack on American soil to do it. CIA analyst Jack Ryan is determined to stop them having the help of John Clark.


Number of Games:1
First Appearance:1998
Last Appearance:2015

       With author Tom Clancy being a cofounder of a game company, Red Storm Entertainment (named after one of Clancy's books), it was not unexpected that there would be games based on his novels and novels based on the games. Power Plays is a series that had such a genesis and so does the Rainbow Six franchise.
       Apparently Red Storm was working on an idea for a group similar to the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team but international in scope and dedicated to fighting terrorism. "Black Ops" was the planned name. Then Tom Clancy told them he was working on a book about a team fighting terrorism and the design of the game shifted to match his.
       The game was done before the book. The character of John Clark is not a part of the game but because Rainbow Six is his idea (and according to Wikipedia the codename for Clark), the game series deserves mention.
       To date there have been a large number of games and add-on packs with additional scenarios released on a wide range of platforms.

1 Rainbow Six Rainbow Six
Red Storm Entertainment
Copyright: 1999

A series of video games concerning operative in the Rainbow program. The games were released on a wide assortment of platforms.


Since most of the books in this series are parts of either the Jack Ryan series or the Jack Ryan, jr series, and I absolutely loved both of them, I naturally love this series. This was made extra so because my second favorite book in the Jack Ryan list was decidedly bk_6760!Without Remorse, marked as an add-on in the Ryan universe. It is one incredible book.

The books that came out after Clancy's passing which have Clark back as a supporting character have made him very much a mentor to Jack Ryan, jr. and close friend to President Ryan. They have also greatly enhanced the legend of a man whose career has been exceptionally impressive without ever going over the top.

I could hope for another book devoted to John Clark but I know that is just being greedy.


My Grade: A


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