Michael CrichtonWriter / Filmmaker
Born: 23 October 1942
Died: 4 November 2008 (cancer)
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Best known as: The author of Jurassic Park
A specialist in science-related thrillers, Michael Crichton wrote some of the most popular mass-market novels of the 1980s and 1990s. He attended Harvard and trained as a doctor; before graduating from medical school he had already written the best-selling thriller The Andromeda Strain (1969). Later he wrote hit novels like The Terminal Man (1972) and Rising Sun (1992). He also directed several movies, including the film of his own 1975 novel The Great Train Robbery (1979, with Sean Connery). Crichton's popularity boomed in the 1990s, when his book Jurassic Park was made into a hit movie by director Steven Spielberg. Crichton also created the Emmy-winning TV series E.R. His 2004 novel State of Fear questioned the scientific validity of global warming, giving Crichton a reputation as a climate change skeptic; in 2005 he testified before a Senate committee and had a private visit with President George W. Bush to discuss the issue.
Extra credit: Crichton was 6'7" tall, according to a 1981 interview with The Christian Science Monitor... He died on the same day in 2008 that Barack Obama was elected president.
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