- John Clark (Tom Clancy character)
John Clark (real name John Terrence Kelly) is a
fictional charactercreated by Tom Clancywho appears in many of Clancy's novels. He is an Irish AmericanCatholic.
colour = #DEDEE2
name = John Terrence (Kelly) Clark
nickname = Snake
gender = Male
born = birth date and age|1945|7|9
occupation = Navy SEAL; CIA Operative
spouse = Sandra (O'Toole) Clark
children = Margaret Pamela Clark and Patricia Doris Clark
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 accidentwhen her car went under a line haultractor/trailer unit.
He is married to Sandra (Sandy) O'Toole, a nurse who aided in his recovery in
Johns Hopkins Hospitalin " 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.
Clark originally joined the Navy (as John Terence Kelly) during the
Vietnam War, where he became a Navy SEALand 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 crisisand 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
Ryanversein " 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 KGBChairman Gerasimov's wife and daughter, after the Chairman decides to defect to the United States.
Clear and Present Danger," he commands a U.S. Army black ops unit carrying out a secret war against the Medellín Cartelin 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.
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 Denveroccurs, 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 pardonto 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 Ebolaattack 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-terroristgroup, 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- Spetznazoperation, he is involved in the destruction of China's only ICBMbase. 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 Starwith 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 Generalin 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. Parkernovels.
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)
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.
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