NEW YORK — Clive Cussler, the million-selling adventure writer and real-life thrill-seeker who wove personal details and spectacular fantasies into his page-turning novels about underwater explorer Dirk Pitt, has died, his publisher said Wednesday.
Cussler died Monday at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, said Alexis Welby, spokeswoman for publisher Penguin Random House. He was 88. The cause was not disclosed.
Cussler dispatched Pitt and pal Al Giordino on exotic missions highlighted by shipwrecks, treachery, espionage and beautiful women, in popular works including “Cyclops,” “Night Probe!” and his commercial breakthrough, “Raise the Titanic!”
Cussler was an Illinois native who was raised in Southern California and lived in Arizona for most of his final years, but he sent Pitt around the globe in plots that ranged from the bold to the incredible. “The Treasure” features an aspiring Aztec despot who murders an American envoy, the hijacking of a plane carrying the United Nations secretary-general and soldiers from ancient Rome looting the Library of Alexandria. In “Iceberg,” the presidents of French Guiana and the Dominican Republic are the ones in danger, during a visit to Disneyland. In “Sahara,” a race across the desert somehow leads to new information about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.