This morning we learned that bestselling author Vince Flynn died at age 47 after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. Glenn and Vince had been friends for many years, and this morning on radio, Glenn shared a heartfelt tribute to the man who was taken from this world far too soon.
Read Glenn’s remarks below:
It seems like it was just yesterday, the you’ll pardon me for a personal note here for a second, it seems like just yesterday I moved into an apartment in New York City and a very good friend of mine, Vince Flynn, was in town with his wife and his daughter. And we hadn’t even had the time yet to put our food in our kitchen yet. And they were coming over and I said, let’s go downstairs. We lived in the Bloomberg building, unfortunately, and we went downstairs to a restaurant and there we sat. And we sat for hours. And his daughter, God bless her, just wanted to hang herself. Her dad and his friend were scaring the living daylights out of her. And my wife and his wife were talking about children and trying to keep life normal when you have anything but a normal life.
We all went up to the apartment afterwards. It was late at night and we had these gigantic floor‑to‑ceiling windows that overlook the skyline of New York, and both of us who grew up simple kids stood there like a couple of 12‑year‑old boys, and we talked about how amazing, how amazing life can turn out to be, how you just never know the twists and turns that will come and how blessed we are to have lived in this country and the responsibility that we had. He joked with me in the elevator about living in the Bloomberg building, living in the floor above what’s‑his‑face, the guy who runs GE, Jeffrey Immelt. He joked to me about surveillance. He said, “Glenn, I do this for a living. You wouldn’t believe the intelligence people can gather on people, especially someone like you.”
He then asked to see another part of the apartment that was away from our wives and his daughter. I thought he was curious about the apartment, but he wasn’t, and he took me into the other room and he closed the door and he said, “Listen. I write this stuff for a living. We’ve got to keep you healthy, my friend.” He said, “You’ve got to watch your back. We need you alive.”
I found it interesting that my friend Vince was giving me this advice when he had just found out that he had prostate cancer. And I looked at him and I said, “Vince, you do more to tell the American story and give people courage than I do. We’ve got to keep you alive.”
Vince Flynn is a true American hero. Just a minute ago I just got an e‑mail from a friend who said, “I don’t know if you’re going to say anything this morning, but sorry to hear the news about Vince.” I only know two Vinces in my life.
Vince never would talk to me about his problems. He was always getting better and stronger. This is the third friend I have lost to cancer in… 60 days? My good friend Jon Huntsman said to me six years ago, “Do you know anybody with cancer, Glenn? Have you been affected with cancer at all in your life?” And I said, “No, I’m fortunate, Jon.” And he said, that won’t remain that way. He said, “It’s an awful, ravaging disease.”
He showed me his hospital, the Huntsman Cancer Institute out in Salt Lake City. He built it right next to a genetics laboratory that was funded and built by Howard Hughes. Howard Hughes said the way to help heal people is to figure out genes and genetics. And he knew the Mormons knew their family heritage, so the best place to study genes and study it over a long period of time in families would be in Utah. And so he poured millions and millions and millions of dollars into a genetics laboratory and research center.
When Jon Huntsman became the wildly successful industrialist that he became, he wanted to do good with his money as well and so he poured his hundreds of millions of dollars into the Huntsman Cancer Institute and built it right next door to where the other philanthropist did. Jon said to me, I’ll never forget as we were walking out of his hotel, he said, “Glenn, we’re going to cure cancer.” I believed him. I still do. We’re very close.
I promised Jon then, I said, “Jon, I will do everything I can to help my wife and I give a large donation to not only Huntsman but also MD Anderson and other researchers.” And we have given our time and lent our name because we believe that we are close.
This summer we’re asking people to go on a walk to raise awareness on the Huntsman Cancer Institute this July 4th. When you come out for the Man in the Moon that Saturday morning, we have asked you to come and walk with me and my family. Take a stand against cancer. I think it’s 10 bucks to register your children and register you, and we have everybody coming. Another good writer friend of mine, Brad Thor, is coming.
If you’re coming out to the Salt Lake City area or if you’re in Salt Lake on the morning of July 6th, the day we have Man in the Moon at 8:00 in the morning, we’re going to take a stand. And we have things set up for your family and your kids to do that morning to have fun, and we’ll all be together. I’d ask you to… in honor of my dear friend Vince Flynn I would personally invite you to come out on Saturday, July 6th and help us change the world. We’re very close to curing cancer. It would change everything. You want to get down to it, it would wipe out our national debt. It would wipe out misery, so much misery. Sign up now at MercuryOne.org. Come walk. And come with me and today remember friend number 3, Vince Flynn.