Showbiz / 26-02-2020

Best-selling Sahara author Clive Cussler dies aged 88

Best-selling Sahara author Clive Cussler dies aged 88

Adventure writer Clive Cussler has died aged 88.

The thrill-seeking author, who wove his own personal details and fanciful fantasies into his books about underwater explorer Dirk Pitt, died on Monday, as confirmed by his family.

In a tweet posted to Cussler’s account today, his wife Janet wrote: ‘It is with a heavy heart that I share the sad news that my husband Clive passed away Mon.

‘It has been a privilege to share in his life. I want to thank you his fans & friends for all the support.

‘He was the kindest most gentle man I ever met.I know, his adventures will continue.’

Cussler died at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, with Alexis Welby, spokeswoman for publisher Penguin Random House, also confirming the news.

The cause was not disclosed.

The best-selling author penned 25 books in the Dirk Pitt adventure series, including Sahara – which became a film starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz – and Raise the Titanic.

He once claimed to have sold more than 100 million copies of his novels in total, with his books being translated into 40 languages.

The Illinois-born author was known for his daring tales that dispatched Pitt and pal Al Giordino on exotic missions involving shipwrecks, treachery, espionage and beautiful women, in popular works including Cyclops, and Night Probe!.

While in Sahara, which grossed $119million (£92m) at the box office when it was released in 2005, a race across the desert somehow leads to new information about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Cussler had claimed his worldwide sales topped 100 million copies, however in a legal battle with Crusader Entertainment, which alleged he had misrepresented his popularity, it was determined the number was closer to 40 million.

In 2007, a Los Angeles jury awarded Crusader $5m (£3.8m) but also ordered that Cussler receive $8.5m (£6.5m) because the film company only adapted one of the two books it had agreed to produce, being Sahara.

In recent years, Cussler began working with co-authors and collaborated with his son on Poseidon’s Arrow, Crescent Dawn and Arctic Drift.

In real life he was just as much into the adventure, having founded his own National Underwater and Marine Agency. He participated in dozens of searches for old ships, including one that turned up a steamship belonging to Cornelius Vanderbilt.

In 1955, he married Barbara Knight, with whom he had three children, Teri, Dirk (who is named after his famous character), and Dayna.

They were together for nearly 50 years until her death in 2003. He later married Janet Horvath.

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26-02-2020 14:00, source: metro, by James Foster
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