You've definitely heard of Tom Clancy. Whether it be through his novels or his games, he probably played a part in your life while you were growing up.
The fact is, he was so heavily associated with military topics that you'd be forgiven for thinking that he served in the military at some point.
Turns out, he didn't. In fact, he spent his whole working life in insurance up until he became an author.
What the actual fuck?!
After attending the university and earning a degree in English Literature, he made a 'responsible decision' and worked for his wife's grandfather as an insurance agent. He did so well that he ended up buying the place and writing in his spare time. The thing is, if someone's really passionate about something, they will always pursue it. Which is exactly what he did.
In 1982, he'd finished writing The Hunt For Red October and sold the manuscript to the Naval Institute Press for $5,000. He managed to shift 45,000 copies, which is really fucking impressive.
The president at the time, Ronald Reagan, ended up reading the book by chance and gave it a glowing review. Obviously, this propelled sales and he became a best-selling author with over 2.3 million copies being sold in a short period of time.
From then, he had the cash behind him to pursue writing as a career.
Then, in 1996, the opportunity came along for Clancy to get involved in video games. Video game company, Red Storm Entertainment, approached him and he agreed to let them use his name. Best decision he ever made.
Sadly, Clancy died back in 2013, but his legacy lives on. Even if he was never actually in the military, he had enough imagination and he did enough research to convince millions of people that he was.
Featured image credit: PA Images/Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell