Clive Eric Cussler (born July 15, 1931 in Aurora, Illinois; died February 24, 2020) is an American adventure novelist and successful marine archaeologist.
Clive Cussler was born in Aurora, Illinois and grew up in Alhambra, California. He was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout when he was 14. He attended Pasadena City College for two years and then enlisted in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. During his service in the Air Force he was promoted to Sergeant and worked as an aircraft mechanic and flight engineer for the Military Air Transport Service.
Clive Cussler married Barbara Knight in 1955 and they remained married for nearly 50 years until her death in 2003. Together they had three children, Teri, Dirk and Dana who have given him four grandchildren.
After his discharge from the military Cussler went to work in the advertising industry, first as a copywriter and later as a creative director for two of the nation's most successful advertising agencies. As part of his duties Cussler produced radio and television commercials, many of which won international awards including an award at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
Following the publication in 1996 of Cussler's first nonfiction work, The Sea Hunters, he was awarded a Doctor of Letters degree in 1997 by the Board of Governors of the State University of New York Maritime College who accepted the work in lieu of a Ph.D. thesis. This was the first time in the college's 123-year history that such a degree had been awarded.
Cussler is a fellow of the Explorers Club of New York, the Royal Geographic Society in London, and the American Society of Oceanographers.¹
"When I first started writing, I was in advertising at the time, I was doing most of my writing on weekends. I had studied most of the other series heroes and I figured it would be fun for mine to be different and put him in and around water. So I dreamed up Dirk Pitt."
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For your convenience, a printable checklist for all Clive Cussler's Novels by Series.