John Clark (Tom Clancy character)

John Clark (Tom Clancy character)

John Clark (real name John Terrence Kelly) is a fictional character created by Tom Clancy who appears in many of Clancy's novels. He is an Irish American Catholic.

Infobox character
colour = #DEDEE2
name = John Terrence (Kelly) Clark

caption =
first =
last =
cause =
nickname = Snake
alias =
species =
gender = Male
age =
born = birth date and age|1945|7|9 Indianapolis, Indiana.
death =
occupation = Navy SEAL; CIA Operative
title =
family =
spouse = Sandra (O'Toole) Clark
children = Margaret Pamela Clark and Patricia Doris Clark
relatives =
episode =
portrayer =
creator =

Personal life

He was born in 1945 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Clark/Kelly's father was a fireman, who perished from a heart attack during a fire. He lost his mother to cancer when he was a young boy.

His pregnant first wife, Patricia, for whom it is likely his second daughter is named, was killed in a car accident when her car went under a line haul tractor/trailer unit.

He is married to Sandra (Sandy) O'Toole, a nurse who aided in his recovery in Johns Hopkins Hospital in "Without Remorse" after a disastrous recon attempt involving drug runners (which left Kelly severely wounded and his girlfriend captured and later dead), and they have two daughters, Margaret (Maggie) Pamela and Patricia Doris. The girls' middle names are the names of two girls both rescued by Clark and later murdered by the drug ring they were mules for. Patricia, a doctor, is married to Domingo "Ding" Chavez, veteran of a black military operation in Colombia, Clark's recruit and partner at CIA and leader of an assault team at RAINBOW. In "Rainbow Six," Patricia gives birth to a son, John Conor Chavez, making Clark a grandfather.

Professional life

Clark originally joined the Navy (as John Terence Kelly) during the Vietnam War, where he became a Navy SEAL and participated in several special operations, one of which was the rescue of a naval aviator shot down over North Vietnam. After his first tour of duty, Kelly retires from the service, but is later re-hired by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for another mission in Vietnam. At the same time at home, Kelly is carrying out his own war against a drug ring that killed his girlfriend, Pamela Madden; while he succeeds in taking it down, the Baltimore police (including Emmet Ryan, Jack Ryan's father) eventually identify him as the man who murdered the drug dealers. In response, Kelly fakes his own death and goes to work for the CIA full-time, under the pseudonym "Mr. Clark". (See Without Remorse)

Throughout his career, Clark has been through a number of real-life crisis zones; in addition to the Vietnam War, he has also been through the Iran hostage crisis and the Gulf War, plus a number of missions in the Soviet Union, and claims to have "had Abu Nidal's head in my gunsights", but never got the green light allowing him to kill the man ("Clear and Present Danger").

He first enters the Ryanverse in "Patriot Games"; although he does not appear in the novel, it is later revealed that he was the CIA's liaison with a French black ops unit involved in the campaign against the ULA. He appears briefly in "The Cardinal of the Kremlin", during which he arranges the escape of KGB Chairman Gerasimov's wife and daughter, after the Chairman decides to defect to the United States.

In "Clear and Present Danger," he commands a U.S. Army black ops unit carrying out a secret war against the Medellín Cartel in Colombia. When the government abandons the men for political reasons, Clark and Jack Ryan fly down to Colombia and rescue the survivors; this is the first time he interacts with Ryan.

In "The Sum of All Fears", he is Ryan's personal driver and bodyguard. Later in the novel, he is returned to the field for one operation, electronically bugging the aircraft of the Japanese Prime Minister in Mexico City. During the operation, the terrorist bombing in Denver occurs, and his mission is changed to intercepting the Palestinian terrorists trying to escape through Mexico, which he does successfully.In "Debt of Honor", he is again a field officer for the CIA's Directorate of Operations (DO); at the beginning of the novel, he and his partner Domingo Chavez capture an Aidid-like African warlord, Mohammed Abdul Corp, and bring him to justice. Soon thereafter, they are sent to Japan to assess the national mood of the country; Clark is under cover as a Russian reporter.When the situation turns into a war between Japan and America, they establish contacts with the opposition in the Japanese government, and are also used to eliminate a pair of Japanese AWACS planes.

Clark spends the first half of the next book, "Executive Orders", serving as an instructor for the CIA's field officer in training. Early in the novel, the new President, Jack Ryan, issues a presidential pardon to John Terence Kelly, for his several murders: This clears his name and his personal honor, but he will continue his career as John Clark. Towards the end, he and Chavez are returned to the field and ordered to discover who is responsible for the Ebola attack on the United States, an action they quickly trace to the new United Islamic Republic. With the cooperation of the Russian SVR, which is working with the Americans, they are infiltrated into Tehran, where they laser-designate the home of UIR dictator Mahmoud Daryaei so that Air Force stealth aircraft can destroy the house.

The next year, Clark writes a memo to the CIA expressing his concerns over the rise of international terrorism since the demise of the Cold War, and recommends creating a NATO response team that could be rapidly deployed in terrorist situations. This special unit is created soon thereafter, with its base in Hereford, Britain; it is code-named Rainbow, and Clark is put in command.

In the book "Rainbow Six", Rainbow is first put into operation; it responds successfully to three attacks by "red" terrorists in Bern, Vienna, and Spain, respectively. It also succeeds in defending itself from an attack by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) against its home base; this is eventually determined to have been ordered by a radical eco-terrorist group, which Rainbow tracks down and destroys in the last pages of the novel.

Clark's last appearance is in "The Bear and the Dragon", where he is still the head of Rainbow. In the novel, Rainbow is temporarily reassigned from its anti-terrorist duties to the Russian-Chinese war being fought in Siberia; in a joint Rainbow-Spetznaz operation, he is involved in the destruction of China's only ICBM base. The operation is mostly successful: all but one of the missiles is destroyed, and the last one, while it is fired, is destroyed by the Navy before it can reach its intended target.

Neither Clark nor Rainbow appear in any more novels; "The Teeth of the Tiger", however, reveal that Rainbow is still operating, presumably in the global war on terrorism, though this is never specified. Clark, is in his sunset assignment as Rainbow commander. Prior to Jack Ryan resigning as President Clark's Silver Star was upgraded to a Medal of Honor. During the Medal of Honor ceremony Jack Ryan Jr was present in the oval office.

Outside the novels, John Clark's career continues further in the Rainbow Six video game series. In , John retires and passes the leadership of Team Rainbow on to his son-in-law, Domingo "Ding" Chavez. In the next video game, , although Ding Chavez appears in the game, as Rainbow commander, no mention is made of John Clark.


John Clark has been awarded the Navy Cross, Silver Star with an oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star with Valor devices with 3 oak leaf clusters, three Purple Hearts and four Intelligence Stars. He is also recipient of the Medal Of Honor, awarded and presented to him by Jack Ryan (then President of the U.S.) for the rescue of a downed fighter pilot during his time in Vietnam (see "Without Remorse"). He is a simulated Major General in the "Rainbow Six" book, though he only reached the rank of Chief Boatswain's Mate (Chief Petty Officer) during his Naval career.

Clark has a small tattoo of a red seal, sitting up on its hind flippers and "grinning impudently" on his forearm. Though no other visual details are given, a comment made by Lieutenant Colonel Daniel "Bear" Malloy in "Rainbow Six" indicated that at least some of the Ryanverse SpecOps community had heard of the red seal tattoo and understood that it was associated with the Third Special Operations Group (SOG), which Clark served with during the Vietnam War. Clark stated that everyone in his unit got the tattoo.

Parallels can be drawn between John Clark and Jack Ryan, who both exist within the same fictional universe (Ryanverse). Clark is more capable of bending the rules and operating outside the law than Ryan is, so Clancy uses him in grittier roles. Clark also loathes the "desk work" that Ryan typically finds himself "at home" doing. Clancy himself has stated that John Clark is the "dark side" of Jack Ryan.The relationship is quite similar to that between Spenser and Hawk in the Robert B. Parker novels.

In books

The character John Clark appears in the following books:
* "The Cardinal of the Kremlin" (1988)
* "Clear and Present Danger" (1989)
* "The Sum of All Fears" (1991)
* "Without Remorse" (1993)
* "Debt of Honor" (1994)
* "Executive Orders" (1996)
* "Rainbow Six" (1998)
* "The Bear and the Dragon" (2000)

In movies

On film, John Clark has been portrayed by Willem Dafoe in "Clear and Present Danger" and Liev Schreiber in "The Sum of All Fears".

Various directors, screenwriters, and actors have been involved in attempts to film other novels in which Clark/Kelly appears, but none of these movies have been produced. In current production is a "Standing Duck Film" executive director is acclaimed film-maker Morgan McKenna.

ee also

*Jack Ryan

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • John Clark — may refer to:*John Clark (actor/director) (born 1932), ex husband of Lynn Redgrave *John Clark (governor) (1761 1821), American farmer and governor of Delaware *John Clark (Georgia governor) (1766 1832), American politician and governor of… …   Wikipedia

  • Tom Clancy — This article is about the American novelist. For other people, see Tom Clancy (singer) and Thomas Owen Clancy. Tom Clancy Born April 12, 1947 (1947 04 12) (age 64) Baltimore County, Maryland, United States Occupation Novelist Nationality …   Wikipedia

  • Jack Ryan (Tom Clancy) — Articleissues refimprove=September 2008 in universe=October 2008Infobox character name = Jack Ryan first = The Hunt for Red October (1984) last = The Teeth of the Tiger (2003) gender = Male born = 17 May 1950 occupation = US President, CIA… …   Wikipedia

  • John Kelly — or Jack Kelly is the name of: People * John Kelly of Killanne (died 1798), leader of the Irish Rebellion of 1798 in Wexford * John Kelly (U.S. politician) (1822 ndash;1886), politician in Tammany Hall, U.S. Representative from New York (1855… …   Wikipedia

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium

  • Media and Publishing — ▪ 2007 Introduction The Frankfurt Book Fair enjoyed a record number of exhibitors, and the distribution of free newspapers surged. TV broadcasters experimented with ways of engaging their audience via the Internet; mobile TV grew; magazine… …   Universalium

  • List of fictional United States Presidents A-F — The Following is a list of fictional United States presidents, A through F. A President William Abbott * President in: Advise and Consent series, by Allen Drury * Succeeds to presidency upon the assassination of President Harley Hudson. *… …   Wikipedia

  • Domingo Chavez — Domingo Ding Chavez is a fictional character described as a passionate Latino by American author Tom Clancy and appearing in many of his novels and video games. History Born in Los Angeles, California, date of birth January 12, 1968. Throughout… …   Wikipedia

  • CIA in fiction and the movies — Espionage and secret operations have long been a source of fiction, and the real and perceived United States Central Intelligence Agency is a source of many books, movies and video games. Some fiction may be historically based, or will refer to… …   Wikipedia

  • List of fictional United States Presidents G-M — The following is a list of fictional United States presidents, G through M.GActing President Hal Gardner *Acting President in: 24 (2007 2009) *After Charles Logan is arrested in fifth season finale of 24 , Gardner would be next in line of… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”