Vince Flynn

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Vince Flynn
Flynn in San Diego, October 31, 2008
Born Vincent Joseph Flynn[1]
(1966-04-06)April 6, 1966
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Died June 19, 2013(2013-06-19) (aged 47)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Resting place United States
Occupation Writer, novelist, television consultant
Language English
Citizenship American
Alma mater University of St. Thomas
Period 1997-2013
Subject Political thriller, techno-thriller, action thriller
Spouse Lysa Flynn
Children 3

Vincent Joseph "Vince" Flynn (April 6, 1966 – June 19, 2013) was an American author of political thriller novels surrounding the story of the fictional assassin Mitch Rapp. He also served as a story consultant for the fifth season of the television series 24. He died on June 19, 2013, after a three-year battle with prostate cancer.[2]


Early life and education[edit]

Flynn was one of seven children born to Terry and Kathleen Flynn,[3] and a graduate of Saint Thomas Academy (1984) and the University of St. Thomas (1989).

Early career[edit]

After graduating, Flynn went to work for Kraft Foods as an account and sales marketing specialist. In 1991, he left Kraft to pursue a career as an aviator with the United States Marine Corps. One week before leaving for Officer Candidate School, he was medically disqualified from the Marine Aviation Program.[4]

In an effort to overcome the difficulties of dyslexia, Flynn forced himself into a daily writing and reading routine. His writing influences included Clancy, Hemingway, Irving, Ludlum, Tolkien, and Vidal.[4]

Writing and media career[edit]

His newfound interest in such novels motivated him to begin work on a novel of his own. While employed as a bartender in the St. Paul area, he completed his first book, Term Limits, which he then self-published.[5]

"I had just finished reading The Government Racket: Washington Waste from A to Z, by Martin L. Gross. It is without a doubt the most disheartening and enlightening book about politics that I've ever read. I was out jogging one day wondering what it would take to really change Washington, when my thoughts turned to a friend who had been shot and killed in Washington, D.C., several summers earlier. As I continued running, a story started to unfold."[citation needed]

Pocket Books published the hardcover edition of Term Limits in 1998, and the mass market paperback of Term Limits in 1999, which spent several weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. Subsequent works, including Flynn's 1999 novel, Transfer of Power, his 2000 novel The Third Option and his 2001 novel Separation of Power, also appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, with Separation of Power reaching as high as #7.[citation needed]

Flynn's fifth novel, Executive Power, was published in hardcover by Atria Books in May 2003, followed by his sixth novel, Memorial Day in 2004, his seventh novel Consent To Kill in October 2005, his eighth novel Act Of Treason in October 2006, his ninth novel Protect And Defend in 2007 and his tenth novel Extreme Measures in 2008. With the exception of his first novel Term Limits, his works centered around counter-terrorism agent Mitch Rapp. His 2008 release, Extreme Measures, became the ninth novel in the series.

Flynn wrote six New York Times bestsellers for Atria Books, and had a contract for four more. He remembered deciding between following the path that was the most uncomfortable—continuing with what looked to be a promising career as a commercial real estate leasing agent—or taking a big risk and start a new career as a writer: "I look back on it now and I couldn't be happier with my decision, but at the time I remember a lot of people thought I was nuts."[6]

In February 2008, Flynn agreed on film and book projects with CBS Corporation units CBS Films and Simon & Schuster/Atria Books. Lorenzo di Bonaventura was negotiating to produce Mitch Rapp films. The first film, American Assassin, was released on September 15, 2017. Atria Books got worldwide rights to four books by the author.[7] In August 2010, Flynn signed a two-book deal for a new series that he would have co-written with Brian Haig, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel.[8] He was a frequent guest on The Glenn Beck Radio Program on the Fox News Channel, and on Dan Barreiro's radio program on Twin Cities station KFAN.

Personal life[edit]

Flynn lived with his wife, Lysa, and their three children in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) area.[3]

Illness and death[edit]

On February 1, 2011, in his fan newsletter, Flynn announced that he was being treated for advanced Stage III prostate cancer.[9] He died of a rare form of aggressive prostate cancer in Saint Paul, aged 47, on June 19, 2013, at 1:15 a.m., surrounded by family and friends.[3][10]


Standalone novel[edit]

In 1997, Flynn wrote Term Limits (not part of the Mitch Rapp series, but in the same universe).[11]

Mitch Rapp Series[edit]

Mitch Rapp, as portrayed by the author, is an undercover CIA counter-terrorism agent. Rapp's primary focus is thwarting terrorist attacks on the United States, and he is presented as an aggressive operative willing to take measures that are more extreme than might be considered commonly acceptable. His constant frustration with procedures and red tape is a major theme throughout the entire series.[12]

The Mitch Rapp series will continue, written by Kyle Mills. The latest book in the series, Enemy of the State, has been released in September 2017.

Publication year Storyline order Title ISBN Author
1999 3 Transfer of Power ISBN 0-671-02319-5 Vince Flynn
2000 4 The Third Option ISBN 0-671-04731-0
2001 5 Separation of Power ISBN 0-671-04733-7
2003 6 Executive Power ISBN 0-7434-5395-6
2004 7 Memorial Day ISBN 0-7434-5397-2
2005 8 Consent to Kill ISBN 0-7432-7036-3
2006 9 Act of Treason ISBN 0-7432-7037-1
2007 10 Protect and Defend ISBN 978-0-7432-7041-0
2008 11 Extreme Measures ISBN 0-7432-7042-8
2009 12 Pursuit of Honor ISBN 978-1-4165-9516-8
2010 1 American Assassin ISBN 978-1-4165-9518-2
2012 2 Kill Shot ISBN 978-1-4165-9520-5
2012 13 The Last Man ISBN 978-1-4165-9521-2
2015 14 The Survivor ISBN 978-1-4767-8345-1 Kyle Mills
2016 15 Order to Kill ISBN 978-1-4767-8348-2
2017 16 Enemy of the State ISBN 978-1-4767-8351-2


  1. ^
  2. ^ CBS News report of death of Vince Flynn
  3. ^ a b c "Notice of death of Vincent Flynn". 
  4. ^ a b Flynn, Vince. "Goodreads Author Profile". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Film and Publishing Deal Announced between CBS Films and Simon & Schuster". CBS Corporation. February 14, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-04-20. Retrieved September 16, 2008. 
  6. ^ Martha Zoller (November 3, 2009). "Meet Vince Flynn". Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Film and Publishing Deal Announced between CBS Films and Simon & Schuster". CBS Corporation. February 14, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-02-19. Retrieved February 14, 2008. 
  8. ^ Andriani, Lynn (August 5, 2010). "Vince Flynn to Co-Write New Series with Brian Haig". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 5, 2011. 
  9. ^ Tillotson, Kristin (February 1, 2011). "Vince Flynn has cancer". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Best-selling Twin Cities author Vince Flynn dies of cancer at 47". Star Tribune. June 19, 2013. 
  11. ^ Flynn, Vince (1997). Term Limits. ISBN 0-671-02317-9. 
  12. ^ "Chronological Booklist" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-15. 

External links[edit]