Clive Cussler, who celebrated his 82nd birthday today, has other important things to celebrate this summer—including the 40th anniversary of his start in publishing. Cussler’s first book, The Mediterranean Caper, was published in paperback in 1973 and is being reissued Tuesday in a new hardcover 40th anniversary edition. The Mediterranean Caper launched not only Cussler’s career, but also the fictional adventures of Dirk Pitt, head of the National Underwater Marine Agency (NUMA) and undersea super-sleuth.
Cussler keeps the original Dirk Pitt series going with his son, Dirk Cussler, as co-writer, and also co-writes FOUR other series, all bestsellers: NUMA Files, Oregon Files, Isaac Bell and Fargo. Zero Hour, the latest NUMA Files novel, was published on May 28, while Mirage, the latest in the Oregon Files series, will be released on November 5.
In addition to being a publishing phenomenon (and collector of classic cars), Cussler is also a grand adventurer. Founder of a real-life NUMA that mirrors the organization in his fiction, Cussler has spearheaded the discovery of more than 75 lost ships, including the Confederate ship Hunley. He was honored for his work in marine archaeology last week at a sold-out appearance before The Explorers Club in New York City.
For more on Cussler and his remarkable career, check out our Q&A with the author.