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Famous Like Me > Writer > C > Clive Cussler

Profile of Clive Cussler on Famous Like Me

Name: Clive Cussler  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 15th July 1931
Place of Birth: Aurora, Illinois, USA
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Clive Cussler (born July 15, 1931 in Alhambra, California) is an American adventure novelist. His most famous creation is marine engineer, government agent, and adventurer Dirk Pitt.


The first two Pitt novels, The Mediterranean Caper and Iceberg, were relatively conventional maritime thrillers. The third, Raise the Titanic!, made Cussler's reputation and established the pattern that subsequent Pitt novels would follow: A blend of high adventure and high technology, generally involving megalomaniacal villains, lost ships, and sunken treasure.

Cussler's novels, like those of Michael Crichton are examples of techno-thrillers that do not use military plots and settings. Where Crichton strives for scrupulous realism, however, Cussler prefers fantastic spectacles and outlandish plot devices. The Pitt novels, in particular, have the anything-goes quality of the James Bond or Indiana Jones movies, while also sometimes borrowing from Alistair MacLean's novels. Pitt himself is a two-dimensional, larger-than-life hero reminiscent of Doc Savage and other characters from pulp magazines.

Life Imitating Art

As an underwater explorer, Cussler has discovered more than 60 shipwreck sites and has written non-fiction books about his findings. He is also the founder of the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), a non-profit organization with the same name as the fictional government agency that employs Dirk Pitt. Cussler owns a large collection of classic cars, several of which (driven by Pitt) appear in his novels.

In what started as a joke in the novel Dragon that Cussler expected his editor to remove, he often writes himself into his books, at first as simple cameos, but later as something of a deus ex machina, providing the novel's protagonists with an essential bit of assistance.

Art Imitating Death

His 2001 novel Valhalla Rising featured a sci-fi Viking mythology set in Tarrytown and other locations of the Hudson River Valley of Westchester County, New York. Valhalla, New York is famous for its sea of graveyards near Kensico where many famous personalities are buried. The name of the community came from a 19th Century fan of Richard Wagner and her own interest in Norse mythology. In 1994, Mark Guglielmo drew attention to the connection between Vikings and Valhalla, when he murdered his wife in Florida and then disposed of her bisected corpse twenty miles apart in the Hudson River and at a location near Bedford, while attempting to imitate portions of a Viking funeral.


The first attempt to film one of Cussler's novels — Raise The Titanic! (1980) — was a critical and commercial failure. Its failure was widely attributed to a weak script and the casting of Richard Jordan as Pitt.

Paramount Pictures released Sahara on April 8, 2005, starring Matthew McConaughey as Dirk Pitt, Steve Zahn as Al Giordino, William H. Macy as Admiral Sandecker, and Penélope Cruz as Eva Rojas. Cussler and the studio have filed lawsuits against each other in a disagreement over whether the film departs too severely from the novel.


Dirk Pitt adventure novels

  • The Mediterranean Caper (1973)
  • Iceberg (1975)
  • Raise the Titanic! (1976)
  • Vixen 03 (1978)
  • Night Probe! (1981)
  • Pacific Vortex! (1983)
  • Deep Six (1984)
  • Cyclops (1986)
  • Treasure (1988)
  • Dragon (1990)
  • Sahara (1992)
  • Inca Gold (1994)
  • Shock Wave (1996)
  • Flood Tide (1997)
  • Atlantis Found (1999)
  • Valhalla Rising (2001)
  • Trojan Odyssey (2003)
  • Black Wind (2004) (co-authored with Dirk Cussler)

There is also a Dirk Pitt reference book:

  • Dirk Pitt Revealed (1998)

NUMA Files adventure novels

(co-authored with Paul Kemprecos)

  • Serpent (1999)
  • Blue Gold (2000)
  • Fire Ice (2002)
  • White Death (2003)
  • Lost City (2004)
  • Polar Shift (2005)

Oregon Chronicles adventure novel

(co-authored with Craig Dirgo on first two, Jack DuBrul on the third)

  • Golden Buddha (2003)
  • Sacred Stone (2004)
  • Dark Watch (2005)


(co-authored with Craig Dirgo)

  • The Sea Hunters: True Adventures With Famous Shipwrecks (1996)
  • The Sea Hunters II: Diving the World's Seas for Famous Shipwrecks (2002)
  • Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt Revealed (1998)

Recurring Characters


  • Admiral James Sandecker
  • Rudi Gunn
  • Dirk Pitt
  • Al Giordino
  • Hiram Yeager and Max
  • Kurt Austin
  • Joe Zavala
  • Paul Trout
  • Gamay Trout

Friends, &tc.

  • St. Julian Perlmutter
  • Loren Smith
  • Various Presidents

Easter Eggs

  • Clive Cussler
  • Leigh Hunt

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Clive Cussler