Sterling married his first wife, Madeline Carroll, on Valentine's Day, 1942, and divorced on May 8, 1946.
Sterling was 6 feet 5 inches tall.
Sterling's first publicity picture was in the Boston Traveler newspaper, where he was shown as the winner of a Gloucester, NE fishing boat race in 1938, with the headline "Gloucester Sailor Like Movie Idol."
Sterling turned down the role of Pike Bishop in The Wild Bunch (1967).
Sterling was considered for the role of the Fire Captain in Fahrenheit 451 (1966).
Sterling briefly joined the American Communist Party after making many friends among Communist Yugoslavian partisans during World War Two, but left after seeing the excesses of Stalin and Mao.
Sterling said he hated acting and only took film work to pay for the different boats he bought over his lifetime.
Sterling changed his name to "John Hamilton" when he joined the U.S. Marines Corps to avoid his being recognized as a star by other Marines.
Sterling was married and divorced three times with the same wife, Betty Ann De Noon.
Sterling was the original choice for knife-thrower character Britt, in The Magnificent Seven (1960), but was unavailable and James Coburn was cast in his place.
Sterling was given a commendation by Yugoslavia's Marshal Tito for his aid of Yugoslav partisans during World War II.
Sterling wrote two books, his autobiography "Wanderer" (1963) and a historical novel, "Voyage: A Novel of 1896" (1976).
Sterling became captain of a ship when he was 19 years old.
Sterling served in the Marines in World War II and received the Silver Star for service.
Sterling was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor in 1965 for Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (1965).
Sterling was offered the part of Tarzan in 1953 after Lex Barker retired from the role but refused.
Sterling was offered the part of Quint in Jaws (1975) but had to turn it down due to problems with the IRS.
Sterling Hayden: To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen, who play with their boats at sea - "cruising," it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.
Sterling Hayden: Wind to a sailor is what money is to life on shore.