Born in Key West, Florida, Benerson Little grew up variously on all three US coasts. Following his graduation from Tulane University, he entered the US Navy and served as an officer for eight years, most of them as a Navy SEAL. Upon completion of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in 1983 (BUD/S Class 121), he was assigned first to SEAL Team THREE, then to SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE. After leaving the Navy in 1989, he worked as a special operations and intelligence analyst, including for the Naval Special Warfare Strategy and Tactics Group and for a private intelligence collection and analysis firm, among other professions.
He now works as a writer and consultant in several areas, with an emphasis on maritime and naval issues, including maritime threat and security, and especially maritime history. He is considered a leading expert on piracy past and present, and is a recognized expert on pirate tactics and anti-piracy operations throughout history. He has appeared in two television documentaries on piracy, has advised on others, and was the STARZ cable network's historical consultant for its Black Sails series for all four seasons. He is the historical consultant to Firelock Games, advising on its acclaimed Blood & Plunder tabletop war game. He often advises film-makers, novelists, historians, biographers, genealogists, treasure hunters, journalists, and others.
Although he considers San Diego his hometown, he lives in Huntsville, Alabama with his wife Mary, his son Aidan, and with his two daughters, Courtney and Bree, at least when they're at home: the former recently finished her graduate degree, the latter is working toward hers. In his spare time he teaches modern fencing at the Huntsville Fencing Club (and is at present writing his fencing master thesis), researches historical fencing, writes contemporary and historical novels, and develops proposals for potential television documentaries and series. At present he is at work on a sixth non-fiction book related to piracy and privateering, and on the sequels to Fortune's Whelp.
The Golden Age of Piracy describes the truth behind the great pirate myths, legends, and misconceptions, via narrative pirate histories. As with the title below, the book will put readers amidst the action. The book was published in October 2016.
Fortune's Whelp is historically accurate swashbuckling seagoing adventure set in the late seventeenth century. Fiction, 2016, Penmore Press.
How History's Greatest Pirates Pillaged, Plundered, and Got Away With It brings pirate stories and tactics to life for a broad audience. Thoroughly researched, these narrative pirate histories put readers in the middle of the action.
Pirate Hunting was inspired by the need to look at piracy and other forms of sea roving from their earliest record to the present, and in particular at the measures taken to counter them. Besides being an opportunity to look at six millennia of maritime history, the subject has practical appeal today, given the increase in international piracy.
The Buccaneer's Realm was born of an interest in the role of the buccaneer, filibuster, and Spanish pirate in the development of the New World, as well as how these sea rovers influenced and were influenced by the variety of cultures and physical environments of a frontier comprising one third of the entire world.
The Sea Rover’s Practice was born of a lifelong interest in pirates and privateers, an interest originally inspired by the sea, by the fiction of Stevenson, Sabatini, and Steinbeck, by the illustrations of Pyle and Wyeth, and by the journals of Exquemelin, Dampier, and Rogers. Originally researched both for personal interest and to support the writing of historical fiction, the author soon turned the material into a book to fill a void in the literature of the sea.
Jamestown, Virginia, aboard the 20 ton flyboat Discovery. The Susan Constant is in the background.
Giving a fencing lesson.