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Full Name: Dr. John Patrick Ryan
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Tom Clancy
Time Span: 1984 - 2018


       Jack Ryan is an agent with the CIA.
       At least he is at the beginning of the series. There are a few series where the main character enjoys promotion. Stephen Coonts' Jake Grafton rises from Lieutenant to Admiral. John LeCarre's George Smiley moves from a junior agent to the head of the agency. None, however, has such an advance as Jack Ryan.
       From an analyst at the CIA to Deputy Director of Intelligence. On then to National Security Advisor, Vice-President, and finally President.
       It is one helluva journey, told by a master.
       Ryan was born and raised in Baltimore. He earned a degree from Boston College, attending NROTC at the time to earn a commission. As a marine, Jack Ryan served his country and earned credit under the G.I. Bill to return to college. Having graduated from college with a doctorate in History, Jack Ryan spent time as a stock broker, betting his own money on 'high-risk issues and scoring big'. Leaving this profession due mostly to boredom, he turned to writing and his big love, history. He taught for a time at the Naval Acadmy and it was there that he really became noticed and was finally approached by the Agency. At the beginning of the series, Ryan had worked for three years, on his own time, on a biography of Admiral Halsey.
       Ryan's involvement with the CIA came as a result of his knighthood. While as a tourist in London, he 'unknowingly prevented the assassination of two very prominent figures' by terrorists. This earned him an honorary title and brought him in touch with many important people who would be valuable later in his life.
       Having made these contacts and earning a reputation as an excellent researcher, Ryan is approached by the CIA where he quickly comes under the tutelage of Admiral Greer, who found in Ryan an excellent analytical mind. Ryan quickly moved up in the ranks until, at the start of the series, he is Greer's chief analyst.
       Ryan is married to a highly successful surgeon named Caroline but called Cathy. They have four children. Since the series covers such a wide period of time, the children grow up and go out on their own. His son, Jack jr., eventually takes a job much like his father.
       The majority of the activity in the series is before Ryan's days as President. Once he takes office, his actions are obviously quite a bit different than before but cloak and dagger features prominently nevertheless.


Number of Movies:5
First Appearance:1990
Last Appearance:2013

1 The Hunt For Red October The Hunt For Red October
Director: John McTiernan
Writers: Larry Ferguson, Donald Stewart, Tom Clancy
Actors: Alec Baldwin as Jack Ryan, Sean Connery as Marko Ramius, Sam Neill as Vasili Borodin, Scott Glenn as Bart Mancuso, James Earl Jones as Admiral Greet, Richard ordan as Jeffrey Pelt
Released: 1990

During the early 80s with the Cold War still going strong, a Soviet nuclear sub commander and a few of his officers want to defect and take the lastest sub with them. The Soviets try to make everyone believe it is a rogue attack in the making.

2 Patriot Games Patriot Games
Director: Phillip Noyce
Writers: W. Peter Iliff, Donald Stewart, Tom Clancy
Actors: Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan, Anne ARcher as Cathy Ryan, Patrick Bergin as Kevin O'Donnell, Sean Bean as Sean Miller
Released: 1992

Jack Ryan is in London when a faction of the IRA makes an attack on the royalty. Ryan steps in and stops them, killing one of the attackers. His brother is now out for revenge.

3 Clear And Present Danger Clear And Present Danger
Director: Phillip Noyce
Writers: Donald Stewart, Steven Zaillian, John Milius, Tom Clancy
Actors: Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan, Willem Dafoe as John Clark, Anne Archer as Cathy Ryan, Joaquim de Almeida as Felix Cortez, Miguel Sandoval as Ernesto Escobedo
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.

4 The Sum Of All Fears The Sum Of All Fears
Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Writers: Paul Attanasio, Daniel Pyne, Tom Clancy
Actors: Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan, Morgan Freeman as DCI Cabot, James Cromwell as President Fowler, Bruce McGill as NSA Revell
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.

5 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writers: Adam Cozad, David Koepp
Actors: Chris Pine as Jack Ryan, Kevin Costner as Thomas Harper, Keira Knightley as Cathy Muller, Kenneth Branagh as Victor Cherevin
Released: 2013

A young CIA analyst, Jack Ryan discovers a group of Russians are out to destroy the American economy with a terrorist attack. This is a reboot of the Jack Ryan series.


Number of Episodes:8
First Appearance:2018
Last Appearance:2018

John KrasinskiJack Ryan [ 1 ]
Abbie CornishCathy Mueller [ 1 ]
Wendell PierceJames Greer [ ]

Note: The plots marked in quotes are from Amazon's descriptions.
1 Pilot
Episode 1-1, first aired 08/30/2018
Director: Morten Tyldum
Writers: Carlton Cuse, Graham Roland

"In the series premiere, CIA analyst Jack Ryan uncovers a series of suspicious transactions that take him and his boss James Greer out from behind their desks into the field to hunt down a powerful new threat to the world. Hanin begins to question her husband's affairs after he brings a mysterious outsider into their home."

2 French Connection
Episode 1-2, first aired 08/30/2018
Director: Daniel Sackheim
Writers: Carlton Cuse, Graham Roland

"Jack and Greer decode a fresh piece of intel that takes them to Paris and one step closer to the elusive Suleiman. Hanin's husband returns home with a renewed fervor for his secretive mission, leaving her unsure of their family's future."

3 Black 22
Episode 1-3, first aired 08/30/2018
Director: Patricia Riggen
Writers: Carlton Cuse, Graham Roland

"Drone pilot Victor struggles with the immense responsibility attached to his job. Jack and Greer join French Intelligence officers on a mission to track down Suleiman's brother. Hanin is forced to make a dangerous decision for the sake of their children."

4 The Wolf
Episode 1-4, first aired 08/30/2018
Director: Daniel Sackheim
Writers: Carlton Cuse, Graham Roland

"As Jack and Cathy grow closer, Jack's double-life is put to the test. A show of force from Suleiman adds to his ranks and brings him one step closer to his next attack."

5 End of Honor
Episode 1-5, first aired 08/30/2018
Director: Patricia Riggen
Writers: Carlton Cuse, Graham Roland

"After the horrific Paris church attack, Jack and Greer discover a deeper strategy behind Suleiman's actions, forcing Jack to suggest an unusual trap for him. Hanin faces new challenges in her quest for freedom."

6 Source and Methods
Episode 1-6, first aired 08/30/2018
Director: Carlton Cuse
Writers: Carlton Cuse, Graham Roland

"Jack's moral code is tested when he and Greer use a Turkish criminal to help them track down a high-value target who may be able to lead them to Suleiman. Hanin tries to evade her pursuers and keep her daughters safe. Cathy investigates an outbreak of a virulent form of Ebola that may point to something more ominous."

7 The Boy
Episode 1-7, first aired 08/30/2018
Director: Patricia Riggen
Writers: Carlton Cuse, Graham Roland

"Jack and Greer try to convince their superiors to lead a covert ground assault to capture Suleiman. Jack's double life costs him an important relationship."

8 Inshallah
Episode 1-8, first aired 08/30/2018
Director: Daniel Sackheim
Writers: Carlton Cuse, Graham Roland

"Jack and Greer fear Suleiman's next attack could be on U.S. soil. They must figure out how to stop him or risk enormous costs."


Number of Entries:2
First Appearance:1990
Last Appearance:1993

1 Hunt For Last October Hunt For Last October
Published by Mad Magazine
Contributors: Stan Hart (writer), Angelo Torres (artist)
Copyright: 1990

Printed in Mad Magazine #297, September 1990, and from "A Show of Defection Dept."
A real send-up of the movie The Hunt For Red October with Bush referring to his Thousand Point of Light!
Click here to read the story.

2 Patr*idiotic Games Patr*idiotic Games
Published by Mad Magazine
Contributors: Dick DeBartolo (writer), Angelo Torres (artist)
Copyright: 1993

Printed in Mad Magazine #316, January 1993, and from "When Irish Spies Are Smiling Dept."
Joke Riot (Jack Ryan) must stop terrorists from killing royals and his family in this spoof send-up of the Harrison Ford movie Patriot Games. Now, wait a moment! Did Andy Capp pass by, was one of those terrorists Darth Vadar, and did Joke's wife have an Alien?
Click here to read the story.


       Tom Clancy created, for all intents and purposes, an entire genre of fiction, namely the techno-thriller. There are not many authors living that can claim such a momentous event.
       While I have read many reviews that have belittled his writing, his characters, his convoluted plots, and his 'god-knows-what-else', I have to chalk most of it up to jealousy and the natural urge to topple the great. I am a huge Tom Clancy fan, as you can undoubtedly tell. I have some reservations of his other 'series', written by others under his care, but the Jack Ryan books are fantastic. The character is a strong leader, caring family man, brilliant analyst and strategist, and a not-shabby action hero.
       The last few books in the series have paled compared to the rest. I wonder if they were written by Mr. Clancy or someone else. They lack the snap that the other had and I had to push and pull myself through to the end.
       But the first nine books in the series should be on the MUST READ list of any fan of spy-fi. They are the work of a true master and deserve every iota of praise they get.
       Thank you, Mr. Clancy, for your awesome work.

       And thank you for also being kind to an awe-struck fan. While working with a game company, MicroProse, back in the 80's, I had the fun of attending during a convention a party to celebrate the release of their game "Red Storm Rising", based on Mr. Clancy's second novel. I had not worked on the game but I was invited because I had worked on other MicroProse games and I was a huge Tom Clancy fan.
       It was obvious that the noted author was there because of contractual obligations but he quickly became friendly and outgoing to myself and two other fans. He spoke with us for over an hour; 60 minutes I fondly remember and which he no doubt has forgotten.
       What I came away from the meeting with was that the knowledge in Mr. Clancy's head about Soviet plans and abilities was every bit as good as mine (probably better!) and I had been a Soviet military analyst for nearly a decade.
       And the man could WRITE!


My Grade: A

Your Average Grade:   A+


C.G. Faulkner A+ 2020-02-02

I''ve enjoyed CIA analyst Jack Ryan''s adventures since I saw The Hunt For Red October at the theater. A few years later, I began reading the Clancy books, and the continuation books by Mark Greaney and others. Techno-thrillers at their best.

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