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2ndLt Dr John Patrick "Jack" Ryan, Sr., Ph.D. is a fictional character created by Tom Clancy who appears in many of his novels and their respective film adaptations. Jack Ryan was born in Baltimore in 1950 and grew up there. He earned an NROTC commission in the Marines at Boston College.
Medically retired following a helicopter crash, he worked as an investment broker. He met and married Caroline "Cathy" Mueller, a medical student and later an ophthalmic surgeon, with whom he had four children. He returned to academia, eventually accepting a position at the U.S. Naval Academy. Later, he was recommended to the CIA, eventually spending a short period there writing a position paper, as well as developing a counter-espionage mechanism. He returned to the academy and, while on a history research trip to London, interrupted a kidnapping attempt on the royal family. After his return to the States, he eventually accepted a position with the CIA. He rose rapidly through the ranks in a variety of covert operations against the USSR, eventually becoming a Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. As DDI, he had political battles that led to him becoming President of the United States, serving two terms and dealing with international crises in the Pacific.

Five films based on Clancy novels featuring Jack Ryan have been produced. The movie portraying the earliest incarnation of Ryan (fifth film chronologically) is titled Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and stars Chris Pine. Released on January 17, 2014, it follows Ryan's move from his accident in the Marines into his CIA career. Jack Ryan is also portrayed by Alec Baldwin in the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, Harrison Ford in Patriot Games (1992), and Clear and Present Danger (1994), and Ben Affleck in the 2002 film The Sum of All Fears.

In the novels, Patriot Games occurs before The Hunt for Red October, though the order was reversed in the film versions. Additionally, The Sum of All Fears is not part of Baldwin/Ford series, but rather an intended reboot of the franchise which departs significantly from the chronology of the novels. It takes place in 2002, whereas the novel takes place in 1991/1992. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a second reboot of the franchise and departs from all previous films.

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