Michael Crichton Biography

Director, Producer, Author, Television Producer, Doctor (1942–2008)
  Michael Crichton was an American author best known for his sci-fi and medical thrillers. The movie based on his book, Jurassic Park, was one of the highest-grossing films in history.


Famed author Michael Crichton was born on October 23, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois. Crichton attended Harvard Medical School, where he published his first best-seller, The Andromeda Strain (1969). Known for his sci-fi and medical thrillers, he catapulted to fame when director Steven Spielberg produced Jurassic Park (1993), a movie based on Crichton’s book that became one of the highest-grossing films in history. Crichton went on to create the medical TV drama E.R. and other novels such as State of Fear (2004). He died on November 4, 2008, in Los Angeles, California.

Early Career

John Michael Crichton was born in Chicago on October 23, 1942. As one of the most popular writers in the world, Michael Crichton is best known for his work in the genres of science fiction and medical thrillers. His notable works include Jurassic Park, Twister, The Andromeda Strain and the television series E.R.

Crichton graduated summa cum laude from Harvard and received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, researching public policy. He also taught courses in anthropology at Cambridge University and writing as a guest professor at MIT.

Crichton's first best-seller, The Andromeda Strain (1969), was published while he was still in medical school. The author sky-rockted to popularity in the 1990s, when director Steven Spielberg turned his book Jurassic Park (1993) into one of the highest-grossing films of all time. Crichton also created the medical drama, E.R., which won him an Emmy, a Peabody, and a Writer's Guild of America Award. The show ran on NBC for 15 seasons from 1994 to 2009. Its original cast included Anthony Edwards as Dr. Mark Greene, and George Clooney as Dr. Douglas "Doug" Ross.

His 2004 novel, State of Fear, he disputed the validity of global warming, and in 2005 he testified before a Senate committee about the issue. In 2008, the A&E mini-series The Andromeda Strain, based on Crichton's 1969 novel, was nominated for seven Daytime Emmy Awards. It was produced by Tony and Ridley Scott.

Death and Legacy

One of the most popular writers in the world, Michael Crichton's books have been translated into more than 36 languages. Many of his works, which often contained themes of scientific disaster and environmental destruction, were turned into blockbuster films, including Jurassic Park (1993), Sphere (1998) and The Thirteenth Warrior (1999).

Crichton died on November 4, 2008, in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 66. The sci-fi author succumbed to cancer after a long and quiet struggle with the illness. He is survived by his wife Sherri, his daughter Taylor and his son, John Michael. "Michael's talent out-scaled even his own dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. He was the greatest at blending science with big theatrical concepts... ." Steven Spielberg reflected upon Crichton's death. Crichton's novel, a suspenseful adventure story set in the 17th century called Pirate Latitudes, was published posthumously in November 2009. His film project, Jurassic Park IV, remains in limbo as of 2010.

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