St. Paul native and St. Thomas graduate Vince Flynn, a best-selling author of espionage books, has died at age 47.
Flynn battled prostate cancer since his being diagnosed in Jan., 2011. He passed away today at 2 a.m. at United Hospital in St. Paul, surrounded by family and friends. He is survived by his wife and three children.
One of seven siblings, Flynn wore jersey No. 89 and played tight end on Coach Mark Dienhart’s Tommie football teams in 1985 and 1986. He later overcame dyslexia and made a remarkable career transition from St. Paul bartender and food sales rep to a world-class author.
That transformation was captured in this 2006 St. Thomas Magazine profile of Flynn, written by John Nemo:
Flynn occasionally dropped a Minnesota name as an obscure character in his stories. He once mentioned a man named "Fr. Vincent Flynn" as a tribute to the former St. Thomas college president (1946-56). Flynn the writer said on his website that his father, who knew the priest, decided to name one of his sons after him.
Fast forward to the 2012 release, Kill Shot. In the latest book, Flynn mentions that a CIA agent will be accompanied by a guy named “Waldvogel.” That reference is to the Tommies’ Fritz Waldvogel, an All-America wide receiver and kick returner who capped a record-breaking career in December 2011.
Waldvogel said later he enjoyed getting recognized by Flynn, a fellow St. Thomas Academy graduate.
“I saw him after the St. John’s game and he joked with me that he might do this,” Waldvogel said. “It's pretty cool to have that as one of the character names."
Flynn appeared on KARE 11 TV in November 2012 to promote his latest book, The Last Man:
Here’s a February 2012 video story by WCCO TV on Flynn’s battle with prostate cancer (click on photo triangle to run video):
Here's a longer interview with Flynn on a podcast by Twin Cities radio personality Tom Barnard:
Here's a February 2012 USA Today feature on Flynn: