Thursday, February 27, 2020

Clive Cussler Dead at 88

Clive Cussler in 2011
Prolific author Clive Cussler died at his home on Monday, February 24, at age 88.

Cussler's work fascinated readers for decades and has been favorably compared to the type of novel that made authors like Robert Ludlum, Ian Fleming, Tom Clancy, and others of that genre famous. But unlike most of the others in that school of writing, Cussler actually lived adventures akin to those he wrote so effectively about. The man was himself an underwater explorer who was given credit for discovering and exploring at least 60 shipwrecks in his day.

Best known for his Dirk Pitt series, a series that sometimes strayed even into alternate histories, Cussler was awarded a Doctor of Letters degree in 1997 by the New York Maritime College after publication of his first nonfiction work, The Sea Hunters (1996)

While it was the third Dirk Pitt novel, Raise the Titanic, that actually secured Cussler's literary career, the series totals twenty-five books in all, with the last one (Celtic Empire) being published just last year. The last eight Dirk Pitt novels were co-authored with Dirk Cussler, the author's son. 

In addition to the Dirk Pitt books, Cussler authored several other series: The NUMA Files (featuring Kurt Austin), The Oregon Files (featuring a ship called the Oregon), The Isaac Bell Adventures (set in the early 1900s), The Fargo Adventures (featuring a husband/wife treasure-hunting team), two adventure books for children, and five non-fiction titles. All told, his 85 books are said to have sold more than 100 million copies around the world and to have been translated into some 40 languages.

Clive Cussler was a force to be reckoned with in every sense of the world, and he will be missed by his fans.


  1. I'm so sad! I love Clive Cussler. His Dirk Pitt novels are so much fun. He will definitely be missed. :(

    1. I hadn't figured that his books would much appeal to female readers, Lark. Looks like I'm guilty of making one of those embarrassing assumptions that get people in so much trouble these days. LOL

      I didn't realize until today that he had named his son Dirk, and that they had been co-authoring the books for a few years.

  2. Strangely, I haven't read anything at all by Cussler but I seem to recall a film was made from one of his books which I did see. Naturally I can't remember the title but it's sort of 'there' just out of reach if you know what I mean. A sad loss, I always think authors should live forever. I suppose in a manner of speaking, they do.

    1. The man was a thriller writer, and what books of his I read, I read several decades ago, but he was certainly a pioneer in making the genre so popular. He managed to live quite a life for himself; he was definitely one of the lucky ones amongst us.