Clive Cussler is the bestselling author of adventure books such as Inca Gold, The Mediterranean Caper, and Celtic Empire. Two of his books, Raise the Titanic! And Sahara was adapted into movies. But many of Cussler’s stories were undoubtedly inspired by his own life of adventure and exploration. He died on February 24th, 2020, at the age of 88.
Cussler wrote 85 books in his lifetime, sold over 100 million copies across 100 countries, and located a multitude of shipwrecks. With a Ph.D. in maritime history, Cussler was passionate about discovering abandoned wrecks. He began a nonprofit called National Underwriter, and Marine Agency (NUMA) focused on the conservation of shipwrecks, which was primarily funded from his book royalties. To date, it has been credited with finding over 60 significant shipwrecks.
Cussler died in his home, but no specific cause has been given. His wife, Janet Horvath, posted on Facebook:
“I want to thank you, his fans and friends for all the support, for all the good times and all the adventures you have shared with him. He was the kindest, most gentle man I ever met. I have always loved him and always will. I know, his adventures will continue.”
Many of his books centered on adventurer and undersea explorer Dirk Pitt, which was named after his son Dirk. As his son became an adult, he helped co-write many books. Cussler stated in an interview with The Times in 2000:
I’ve been doing Dirk Pitt for 30 years. Maybe I can find another writer down the line to take him over. It’s not the money; it’s the fans . . . I’d like to retire. I’m toying with the idea of Pitt having a son who shows up. He’s getting a little long in the tooth. When we started out, we were both 36 years old. Now he’s a little over 40, and I’m pushing 70.”
Clive Cussler’s 85th novel Journey of the Pharaohs: A Novel From the NUMA Files, will be published next month. Penguin Random House has confirmed that more of his books will be published afterward.