|Born in Aurora, Illinois, Cussler grew up mainly in California where he attended Pasadena City College before joining the Air Force during the Korean War. Serving as an aircraft mechanic and flight engineer, Cussler eventually left the service to work in advertising as a copywriter, moving on to become creative director of some of the country's most prestigious agencies. Cussler didn't begin writing novels until he was 34, and it wasn't until eight years later in 1973 that he published a novel featuring Dirk Pitt, the hero he is most famous for creating. Since then, Cussler has gone on to write a long list of best-selling adventure novels, which have been translated into 40 languages and have been sold in over 135 countries. He has served as chairman of the National Underwater & Marine Agency, and as a fellow in the Explorers Club of New York, the Royal Geographic Society in London, and the American Society of Oceanographers. Cussler is married to Barbara Knight, with whom he has had three children. He spends much of his time on his favorite hobby, tending to his sizable collection of rare and classic cars.