Clive Cussler, 1931-2020
#1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Clive Cussler died on February 24. He was 88.
Born in 1931, Clive Cussler started writing after years in the Air Force and working as a copywriter and creative director at advertising agencies. His first novel, the Edgar Award nominated The Mediterranean Caper, was published in 1973, setting off a career that resulted in 84 books, which have been translated into more than 40 languages in over 100 countries. In addition to writing his five perennially bestselling fiction series, Cussler is also the author of five non-fiction titles and two children’s books. Almost every one of his books has been an instant bestseller, including eleven #1 New York Times bestsellers in fiction and one in nonfiction.
In 1997, Cussler was awarded the Doctor of Letters degree by SUNY Maritime College for his non-fiction work, The Sea Hunters, the first time in the college’s history that such a degree was bestowed. Cussler has also been awarded the Naval Heritage Award from the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation, NOGI Award, Lowell Thomas Award, Strand Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and other accolades.
Cussler was the Founder and Chairman of the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), which dedicates itself to American maritime and naval history. First conceptualized in his fiction, the real-life organization is prolific, with its volunteers discovering more than sixty shipwreck sites and numerous other notable underwater wrecks, including the first submarine to sink a ship in battle, the Confederacy's Hunley, and its victim, the Union's Housatonic; the U-20, the U-boat that sank the Lusitania; the Cumberland, which was sunk by the famous ironclad, Merrimack; and the Republic of Texas Navy warship, Zavala, found under a parking lot in Galveston, Texas.
The next Clive Cussler novel, Journey of the Pharaohs, will be published on March 10, and a number of other Cussler novels are already completed and slated for future publication.