New York Times bestselling author and St. Thomas alumnus Vince Flynn died Wednesday morning after a two-year battle with prostate cancer.
Flynn was born and raised in St. Paul, and graduated from St. Thomas in 1988 with an economics degree. His website said that at 27, Flynn quit his job at United Properties, a commercial real estate company in the Twin Cities, and became a bartender at O’Gara’s Bar and Grill so that he would have time to work on his writing during the day.
After five years and more than 60 rejection letters, Flynn decided to publish his own novel. The book became number one in the Twin Cities. According to Flynn’s website, shortly afterward, he gained an agent and a book.
Term Limits, Flynn’s first book, made it to the New York Times Bestseller list, and the rest of his 14 political thriller novels did the same, with several of them reaching number one. His website said that CBS Films is currently working on a movie based on Flynn’s novel, American Assassin.
Flynn’s novels have a wide fan base, including several former presidents and the king of Jordan. According to Flynn’s website, the books also have a reputation of being extremely accurate, with one being put on security review by the Pentagon before its release.
Flynn spoke openly about being diagnosed with dyslexia in grade school, and encouraged fans through his Facebook page and website to overcome their adversities and never give up on their dreams.
In November of 2010, Flynn was diagnosed with Stage III metastatic prostate cancer. After his diagnosis, Flynn became involved with “Movember,” a campaign aimed to raise awareness for prostate cancer. He also encouraged others battling cancer to stay positive.
“My attitude is strong, and I feel better than I have in years. I am blessed to be surrounded by a wonderful wife, family, and great friends who have been extremely supportive,” Flynn wrote to fans on his website in January 2011.
Flynn is survived by his wife and three children.
Gabrielle Martinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.