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Pawlenty, another fan, said Wednesday in an email to the AP that Flynn had "impeccable integrity, loved his family and his country and you could not have (a) better friend."
Flynn was diagnosed with stage three metastatic prostate cancer in November 2010. The fatigue from his radiation treatments eventually made it difficult to focus on writing for more than an hour or two, and in October 2011, he reluctantly postponed publication for several months of his 13th book, "Kill Shot," which followed Rapp's adventures as he pursued those responsible for the bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.
But he never expressed any bitterness about dying at such a young age and kept his faith, Vascellaro said.
"It was remarkable how much courage he showed in the face of adversity," he said. "I will remember that for the rest of my life."
Schneeman, the family friend, said Flynn had been working on his next book as recently as Valentine's Day, when she and her husband vacationed with the Flynns in Mexico.
Development for a Mitch Rapp movie based on 2010's "American Assassin" remains on track, said Grey Munford, a spokesman for CBS Films, which plans to build an action-thriller franchise around the character. Bruce Willis has signed on to play Rapp's mentor, Stan Hurley. Munford said an announcement about the movie is expected soon.
Flynn is survived by his wife, Lysa Flynn, and three children. A Mass will be celebrated Monday morning at the Cathedral of St. Paul.