(Photo: Wiki Commons/Phil Konstantin)
Bestselling author Vince Flynn has died at 47-years-old after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer, local CBS affiliate WCCO reports.
He died Wednesday morning at United Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, and leaves behind a wife and three children.
Minnesota's KARE 11 News also received confirmation of the tragedy from close family friends.
Born in St. Paul, Flynn went to Minnesota's St. Thomas Military Academy High School and then the University of St. Thomas for college.
Diagnosed with dyslexia in grade school, Flynn forced himself to read and write daily. He took a job with a commercial real estate company after college, but soon found himself inspired to write a novel.
He made the risky decision to quit his job, bartending at night so he could write during the day.
Flynn received more than 60 rejection letters from publishers when attempting to publish his first book, Term Limits. But after he chose to self-publish in 1997, Term Limits went on to become a New York Times bestseller.
Flynn's subsequent books primarily revolve around undercover CIA agent Mitch Rapp.
"Read by current and former presidents, foreign heads of state, and intelligence professionals around the world, Flynn's novels are taken so seriously one high-ranking CIA official told his people, 'I want you to read Flynn's books and start thinking about how we can more effectively wage this war on terror,'" according to his website.
Flynn said he heard personally from former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush that they're "big fans."
He also worked with the producers of the hit Fox show 24, consulting on story lines for the show's fifth season.
Flynn announced in February of 2011 that he was being treated for Stage III prostate cancer.
In a 2012 interview with WCCO-TV, Flynn said: “I was in pain writing the last 2 books, but I didn’t know how serious it was."
He encouraged others diagnosed with cancer to stay positive, staying fit and healthy throughout his treatment.
Watch the complete WCCO-TV interview, below:
A man of faith and family, Flynn said he was not afraid of death.
Family friend Kathy Schneeman said she once heard him tell someone that if they "just stepped foot" inside a Catholic church they "wouldn't have so much anxiety."
"But as Father Laird said at Vince’s deathbed, 'He just didn’t want to go so soon,'" she continued.
Carolyn Reidy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Simon & Schuster, Inc., said: "As good as Vince was on the page - and he gave millions of readers countless hours of pleasure - he was even more engaging in person. He had a truly unique ability to make everyone - from those of us at Simon & Schuster who were fortunate to be part of his publication, to booksellers and retailers around the nation, and most of all, his readers, with whom he had a very close relationship - feel as if we were on his team and sharing in his life and his success. Yes, we will miss the Mitch Rapp stories that are classic modern thrillers, but we will miss Vince even more."
Flynn also received a touching memorial from his friends in Talk Radio.
Rush Limbaugh called it a "day of profound heartbreak," saying he was "numb" and "in a state of shock" over the news. He chronicled how he and Flynn became "fast friends" after Limbaugh became an avid fan of Flynn's books.
Listen to the entire story via the Daily Rushbo, below:
Glenn Beck fought back emotion as he spoke of his friend, whom he has known for years.