Best-Selling Author Clive Cussler Dead At 88

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Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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Best-selling American adventure and thriller author Clive Cussler passed away Monday at the age of 88, the New York Times reported.

Cussler authored and co-authored more than 80 books and sold more than 100 million books around the world, which have been published in more than 40 languages, according to the New York Times. He appeared in the New York Times bestseller list 17 times in a row. “Celtic Empire” is Cussler’s most recent book, published in 2019. 

Cussler was born in Illinois in 1931, and served in the Air Force during the Korean War, taking up copywriting and advertising upon his return. He soon became an award-winning producer of radio and television commercials, according to the Guardian. He began writing novels in 1965, and his first book, The Mediterranean Caper, featured his most famous creation, Dirk Pitt, an undersea explorer. He went on to include Pitt in 25 books. 

Cussler also had his books adapted into movies, including “Raise the Titanic!” and “Sahara,” the latter featuring Matthew McConaughey as the famous protagonist Pitt in the 2005 film. 

Building off the theme of maritime exploration, Cussler was the founder of the non-profit National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), which specialized in the discovery and conservation of shipwrecks, and has come across more than 60 shipwreck sites, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported

Cussler’s son Dirk, one of three of Cussler and his first wife Barbara Knight’s children, co-authored three of his father’s final books. After his first wife Barbara passed, Cussler married Janet Horvath, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.