Jack Ryan (full name President Sir John Patrick Ryan, Ph.D., CPA, KCVO) (May 17, 1950-) is a fictional character created by Tom Clancy who appears in many of his novels. The novels and film adaptations in which the character appears are collectively referred to as the "Ryanverse".
After graduating from Loyola High School in Towson, Maryland, Ryan attends Boston College, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Economics (strong minor in history) and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps (via NROTC). While waiting for the Corps to assign him somewhere, he passes the Certified Public Accountant exam.
After finishing The Basic School (TBS) and the Infantry Officer's Course (IOC) at Quantico, Virginia, he is deployed to a line unit as a platoon commander on the USS Guam. Three months later his military career is cut short at the age of 23, when as part of the Atlantic Fleet Marine Force (FMF), his platoon's helicopter, a CH-46, crashes during a NATO exercise over the Greek island of Crete. Ryan's back is badly injured in the crash. Unfortunately, the Navy surgeons at Bethesda Naval Medical Center make inadequate repairs to his back. This occasions a lengthy recovery process (during which he was nearly addicted to pain medications) after which, complete with a permanent disability and wearing a back brace, he left the USMC, passes his stock broker's exam and takes a position with the Baltimore office of the Wall Street investment firm Merrill Lynch. (The Hunt for Red October film tells Ryan's story differently: Adm Joshua Painter states "Summer of his third year, he went down in a chopper accident. Bad. Pilot and crew killed. That kid spent months in traction and another year learning to walk again. He did his fourth year from the hospital." The film is inconsistent with the novels, which are generally considered canonical.)
After having his net worth assessed at $8 million, Ryan leaves the firm after four years and enrolls at Georgetown University for his doctorate courses in history. He does a brief stint at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, then accepts a position at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland as a civilian professor of history.
Both of these accomplishments come to the attention of Admiral James Greer, the Deputy Director (Intelligence) at the CIA. The expertise of Ryan's report, plus the adaptation, persuades Admiral Greer to offer him a permanent job in the CIA, which he turns down.
While still teaching at the Naval Academy, Ryan and his family (wife and daughter Sally) take a trip to London for research and vacationing. After spending the day sifting through British Navy archives doing research for a book on the British naval war in the Indian Ocean during World War II, Ryan walks to meet his family at a London park. As he joins them, members of the Ulster Liberation Army, an ultra-violent Maoist offshoot of the IRA, headed by a man named Kevin O'Donnell, attack a car containing the Prince of Wales and his family right in front of Ryan and his wife and daughter. Ryan, while wounded, intervenes in the attack and foils their plan, killing one of the gunmen and capturing another.
Sean Miller, the man he captured, vows revenge on Ryan and his family. But since he is going to Albany Prison on the Isle of Wight, the threat doesn't seem serious. After being invested as a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by the Queen, Ryan returns to the U.S. and the Academy. When O'Donnell and the ULA spring Miller on his way to Albany Prison (killing both police officers and civilians in the process), Ryan and his family becomes the target of their revenge—particularly Miller's.
In Red Rabbit, Ryan's assignment to London focuses on a daring mission to assist the defection of a KGB communications-center officer who has discovered that KGB director Yuri Andropov had ordered the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. Although Ryan and a small team of British agents helps the "Rabbit" and his family get to the West, they fail to prevent the attack on the Pope. Nevertheless, "Rabbit's" defection proves to be a major coup to both American and British intelligence. Ryan soon afterward suggests a non-military strategy to help hasten the USSR's collapse.
In The Hunt for Red October, Captain First Rank Marko Ramius, the Soviet Navy's top submarine commander, takes command of the Красный Октябрь (Red October), the newest Typhoon-class missile submarine. Ramius's mission is to test the sub's new silent "caterpillar" drive, but Ramius and a select group of his officers are actually planning to sail the submarine to the coast of the United States and defect.
When Soviet officials in Moscow receive a letter from Ramius informing them of this, they send out most of the Soviet Northern Fleet with orders to find and destroy the Red October.
Secret photographs of the Red October are delivered to Ryan. He shows them to several naval officers familiar with missile submarines. From there he goes to the Pentagon and finally to the White House. With the President's approval, a plan is created whereby, when the Red October approached the American coastline, it would be captured and hidden. At the same time, an older U.S. submarine would be intentionally destroyed and sunk in that vicinity. Then the Soviets would be informed it was the Red October. This begins a week of intense search efforts, where Soviet, American, and British surface ships, submarines, and helicopters are all deployed in what becomes a hide-and-seek operation.
When Ryan and a Royal Marine Lieutenant Owen Williams from the Royal Navy's aircraft carrier finally board the Red October, more problems arise. Ryan hears a gunshot in another part of the Red October, and he makes his way to the sub's missile room with Captain Ramius. There they encounter a GRU operative covered as a member of the ship's crew who is attempting to sink Red October by igniting one of her solid-fuel missiles. The GRU agent has already killed Captain Lieutenant Gregoriy Kamarov, one of Red October's officers, and wounded Owen Williams. Ryan is forced to kill the man to prevent the destruction of the ship.
After being hit by a torpedo from an Alfa-class Soviet attack submarine, the heavily damaged Red October, having rammed and destroyed its opponent, is still able to advance unseen into the U.S. Naval Shipyard at Norfolk, Virginia. The defectors are lodged at a CIA safehouse near Charlottesville, Virginia, and Ryan flies back home in time for Christmas.
In The Cardinal of the Kremlin, Ryan is reassigned to Langley. He becomes Greer's assistant with the official title of Special Assistant to the Deputy Director for Intelligence. Greer is grooming the rising analyst for bigger and better positions, maybe even his own job when the veteran spy finally retired. Ryan is dispatched to Moscow as part of the American strategic nuclear weapons reduction negotiation team. There he meets Sergey Golovko, a rising star in the KGB hierarchy, and eventually becomes entangled in a complex web related to both the race to develop "Star Wars" space-based defensive technology and engineer another defection, this time compromising the KGB director to save the CIA's highest informant in the USSR, Agent CARDINAL, better known as Colonel Misha Filitov. Although they initially meet as adversaries — literally at gunpoint — Golovko later becomes friends with Ryan, whom he calls "Ivan Emmetovich," giving him a Russian-style patronymic based on his father's name, Emmet.
In Clear and Present Danger, Ryan takes a break from U.S.-Soviet confrontations to examine the "war on drugs" and the use of military assets in what is usually considered a law enforcement issue. He eventually has to rescue a small group of isolated American soldiers from the Colombian wilderness and then uncover a highly covert and illegal operation approved by a corrupt National Security Advisor, Admiral Cutter. Greer, who was unaware of the secret war, dies from cancer shortly before this rescue operation, which forces Ryan to miss Greer's funeral. Around this time Ryan also runs afoul of Elizabeth Elliott, international affairs advisor to then presidential candidate Ohio governor J. Robert Fowler, and a former professor of Cathy Ryan's.
In The Sum of All Fears, as Ryan reaches his highest post at the CIA — Deputy Director, Central Intelligence — his career is placed in jeopardy when Fowler becomes President and Elizabeth Elliott becomes both National Security Advisor and Fowler's paramour. They not only deny Ryan any credit for an innovative Middle East peace plan, but also panic when terrorists detonate a nuclear bomb in Denver during the Super Bowl and nearly plunge the world into a Soviet-American nuclear war. Ryan defuses the nuclear crisis by commandeering the Washington-Moscow hot line and convincing the Soviet premier (through his friend Golovko) that the crisis is a setup. He then refuses to confirm Fowler's order to launch a nuclear missile at Qom (thus preventing the attack), where the Iranian Imam lived. The crisis effectively ends both Fowler's administration and Ryan's career at the CIA.
The reluctant yet determined Ryan Administration emerges in Executive Orders as Ryan slowly rebuilds the government. He is faced with political trickery by Ed Kealty, and a deadly plague initiated by the newly formed United Islamic Republic, resulting in two major military conflicts far from American shores.
In The Bear and the Dragon, it is established that Ryan completed Durling's term as President, and has campaigned — and won — the next Presidential election. He retains most of his emergency Cabinet and has Robby Jackson as Vice-President.
Ryan has to deal with the attempted assassination of Golovko, head of the SVR (formerly the KGB). This turns out to be an attempt to sow confusion in the Russian government because of China's designs to annex Eastern Siberia, where geologists had recently discovered a large amount of oil and gold. These events eventually lead to the inclusion of Russia into NATO and the assistance of US forces in the Sino-Russian War. When the Chinese begin losing the war, U.S. forces begin to target their strategic assets. An SSN sinks a Chinese SSBN which causes the Chinese Politburo to panic and to increase the readiness of their 12 land-based ICBMs. US forces do not have the ability to destroy the silos, as they could only use deep penetrating bombs, which had all been used to destroy Chinese bridges to disrupt the PLA's logistical support. This causes the U.S. and Russia to send a joint RAINBOW and Spetsnaz team to destroy the silos. They destroy 11 of the 12 ICBMs but one of them manages to launch. The warhead heads towards Washington, DC; and with Ryan taking a command initiative at an Aegis missile cruiser, the ICBM is intercepted by ABM's from the . With the looming defeat of the PLA in Siberia, which they were about to learn about via live UAV broadcasts from the CIA through the Internet, student demonstrators in Beijing raid the Politburo, which causes a conservative minister to take control and arrest the perpetrators of the war in Siberia and surrender to the US and Russia.
Following this, Ryan apparently completes his term as president and refuses to run for a second elected term (in an interesting parallel with real-world President Theodore Roosevelt). Robby Jackson thus campaigns to become the first African American president, but a member of the Ku Klux Klan assassinates him on a trip to the South, which enables Ed Kealty to become the next President. (It is also possible from what Jack Ryan Jr. says in Teeth of the Tiger that Jack Sr. resigned, feeling he has done what he needed to as President, propelling Robby Jackson to the Presidency.) Before Ryan actually leaves office, he creates "The Campus," a secret anti-terrorist organization that fronts as Hendley Associates, a financial trading company. He also writes presidential pardons out to all of its members, with the assistance of his Attorney General Pat Martin.
In his retirement, Ryan is living easy with a comfortable net worth of over $80 million. He is currently working on two versions of his memoirs, one for immediate release, and another detailing his career at CIA, to be published posthumously.
This statement comes soon after the Ebola attack on the United States ordered by Mahmoud Haji Daryaei, the dictator of the new United Islamic Republic. Ryan announces the new doctrine on the same day that Daryaei is killed by two stealth bombers, on Ryan's orders. Therefore, the Ryan Doctrine apparently supersedes the executive order put in place by President Ford, which forbids the assassination of foreign heads of state. Ryan, however, believes it is a more ethical alternative than all-out war, since it punishes the person responsible for the attack instead of the people he rules.
Within the books the Ryan Doctrine is not officially invoked after Daryaei's death (although Ryan threatens to use it on the Chinese leadership in The Bear and the Dragon, should anything happen to American citizens living in the People's Republic of China as a consequence of the Siberian War).
The chronology of the movies was altered from the novels. The film adaptation of Patriot Games is a sequel to The Hunt for Red October, rather than a prequel, with the Ryan role recast. Also, while the novel The Sum of All Fears takes place after Clear and Present Danger, the film takes place earlier in Ryan's career.
The Sum of All Fears is not part of the Baldwin/Ford trilogy, but rather an intended reboot of the franchise. The discrepancy can be seen in the fact that he meets John Clark for the first time in Clear and Present Danger and the Clark character is significantly different; Ryan is also married in the first three films.
It was reported on January 21, 2008, by the Empire official website and Moviehole, that a new reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise will take place in the near future, featuring Ryan Gosling in the title role. The film will be titled By Any Means Necessary.
On March 18, 2008, Variety reported that Sam Raimi and Paramount Pictures were in negotiations to have Raimi direct the franchise reboot, with intentions of having him spearheading multiple sequels. At the time, Tom Clancy was writing a new novel. Paramount had not decided to use this new story, or create an original story for the Jack Ryan reboot.
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