Clive Cussler was born in Aurora, Illinois on July 15, 1931. He attended Pasadena City College for two years before enlisting in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. After his discharge from the military, he worked first as a copywriter and later as a creative director for two of the nation's most successful advertising agencies. At that time, he wrote and produced radio and television commercials that won numerous international awards, including one at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. He began writing in 1965 and published his first novel featuring Dirk Pitt in 1973. His first non-fiction work, The Sea Hunters, was published in 1996. He has written over 50 books including the Dirk Pitt series, the NUMA Files series, Oregon Files series, Isaac Bell series and the Fargo Adventure Ser.. His title The Eye of Heaven made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2014. He is the Chairman of NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency), a non-profit group which he himself began. He and his crew of marine experts and NUMA volunteers have discovered over 60 historically significant underwater wreck sites.