Clive Cussler, adventure novelist, dead at 88

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.

Alexis Welby, spokeswoman for Cussler’s publisher Penguin Random House, says he died Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 88.

The cause was not disclosed.

His wife tweeted about his death from Cussler’s Twitter account.

The Illinois-born 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’s plots ranged from the bold to the incredible.

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.