Kurson, Robert 1963(?)-

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KURSON, Robert 1963(?)-


Born c. 1963, in IL. Education: University of Wisconsin, B.A.; Harvard Law School, LL.D.


Home—IL. Agent—The Lavin Agency, 77 Peter St., Fourth Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5V 2G4, Canada. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer. Practiced real estate law; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Chicago, IL, Wal-Mart options trader; Chicago Sun-Times, data entry clerk, then features writer; Chicago Magazine, writer; Esquire, contributing editor.


Bookseller's Choice, Bookseller's, July, 2004, for Shadow Divers.


The Official Three Stooges Encyclopedia: The Ultimate Knucklehead's Guide to Stoogedom, from Amalgamated Association of Morons to Ziller, Zeller, and Zoller, Contemporary Books (Lincolnwood, IL), 1998.

The Official Three Stooges Cookbook, Contemporary Books (Lincolnwood, IL), 1999.

Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II, Random House (New York, NY), 2004.

Also contributor to Rolling Stone and New York Times Magazine.


A longtime contributor to Esquire magazine, which has a history of celebrating derringdo, author Robert Kurson became fascinated one night after seeing a "Nova" television segment on the hunt for a lost U-boat. For Kurson, while the story of the boat was interesting, the real intrigue lay in the motives of the divers who would risk their own lives to discover this deep-sea wreck that promised neither great treasure nor tremendous archeological knowledge. Instead, as Kurson discovered, the boat lying 230 feet beneath the surface of the Atlantic, just off the New Jersey coast, offered dedicated deep-sea divers something far greater: a challenge.

In Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II, Kurson introduces two such divers. As Susan Larson put it in the Times-Picayune,"Even the most resolute landlubber will gain a new understanding of the excitement of deep-wreck diving in this tale of John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, two weekend divers who became obsessed with the wreck." After describing the thrills and terrible dangers of deep-sea exploring, a "masterpiece of explication," according to Mark Bowden in the New York Times Book Review, Kurson introduces the two men who overcame mutual suspicion and dislike to forge a bond and solve the mystery of the boat's identity. Their investigative efforts included six years of research and some frustrating attempts to actually get to the boat. Wall Street Journal contributor Robert J. Hughes concluded that the result is "not only a gripping adventure story—shipwreck diving is fraught with peril—but a tale of dogged persistence and growing friendship."



Booklist, May 15, 2004, Brendan Driscoll, review of Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II, p. 1595.

Chicago Tribune, July 18, 2004, Jessica Reaves, "Author Robert Kurson Has No Interest in Joining His Subjects beneath the Waves," p. 1; July 18, 2004, Brenda Fowler, "Secrets of the Deep," p. 1.

Entertainment Weekly, July 9, 2004, Jennifer Reese, "Making Waves: Two New Books Navigate Real-Life High-Seas Adventures," p. 93.

Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2004, review of Shadow Divers, p. 376.

Library Journal, April 15, 2004, Edwin B. Burgess, review of Shadow Divers, p. 100.

Newsweek, June 21, 2004, Malcolm Jones, "Diving into a Mystery: The Gripping Tale of the Discovery of a Nazi Sub," p. 68.

New York Times Book Review, July 18, 2004, Mark Bowden, "Das Boot," p. 7.

People, June 28, 2004, Joe Heim, review of Shadow Divers, p. 47.

Publishers Weekly, July 12, 2004, Daisy Maryles, review of Shadow Divers, p. 12.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 30, 2004, Roger K. Miller, "Adventure, Mystery Surface in Story of Sunken U-Boat," section E, p. 3.

Sea Power, August, 2004, David W. Munns, review of Shadow Divers, p. 52.

Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), July 8, 2004, Susan Larson, "The Shore Thing," p. 1.

USA Today, July 15, 2004, Deirdre Donahue, "'Shadow Divers' Brings to Surface the Mystery of a Doomed U-Boat," section D, p. 7.

Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2004, Robert J. Hughes, "A Mystery under the Surface," section D, p. 8.


Powell's Web site,http://www.powells.com/ (July 8, 2004), Dave Weich, "Robert Kurson Dives In."

Robert Kurson Home Page,http://www.robertkurson.com (October 14, 2004).*