The Day I Met Tom Clancy

Tom_Clancy_at_Burns_Library_croppedIt’s sad to read about Tom Clancy’s death, especially at such a young age. He was a true American success story, an insurance salesman turned author with no expectation of commercial success.

I met Tom Clancy at ABC in New York. I was filling-in, doing the weather on Good Morning America. Back then the show originated in TV-2, a cramped studio in ABC’s oddly configured labrinth on West 67th Street.

Clancy was one of dozens of famous guests who passed through while I was there. I met him in the narrow hallway that led to the makeup and dressing rooms. It was a brief encounter.

He was taller and broader than I expected and wearing his signature aviator sunglasses in the poorly lit hallway.

I’d read a few of his books and told him so. He smiled and thanked me. We talked for a moment. I remember him showing interest in my weather maps.

Tom Clancy didn’t need anything Geoff Fox could give him, but he was friendly and gracious and made me feel like my compliment was the first he’d ever received.

It’s been a long time, but I remember him fondly because of that brief meeting in a hallway. It doesn’t take much to make a lasting impression.

(Photo credit: Tom Clancy at Burns Library, Boston College. Taken by Gary Wayne Gilbert.)

5 thoughts on “The Day I Met Tom Clancy”

  1. Geoff,

    My deceased husband met him at a book signing and enjoyed his speech. I still have the autographed book here somewhere that he signed. He for sure was taken from us to early. I loved reading his books.

  2. We have lost a great story teller. Shocking to think I won’t ever again be caught up for a weekend because I could not put down his latest book!

  3. I heard this morning of his passing and was shocked and saddened. I love his books as did my son. Gone much too soon. RIP Tom Clancy. Prayers for his family and friends.

  4. As a Qualified submariner I found his novels dull and untrue. The entire crew singing at sea submerged . I don’t think so were silence is key to survival.

  5. It’s always nice when you find that someone you admire is a nice and gracious as you think they would be. There was an interesting piece in the ShoreLine that came in today’s NH Register about Mariano Rivera picking apples last week with his family at Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford. The Bishop’s were impressed with his down to “earthness” and graciousness. I had a similar experience at a tag sale in Hamden earlier this year.

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