Michael Crichton, the bestselling author of Jurassic Park, Disclosure, Sphere, and The Andromeda Strain, and creator of TV's ER, has died of cancer. He was 66.
Crichton wasn't what one would call a literary giant, although at six foot nine he was some kind of literal giant. His gift as an writer was his BIG ideas and insanely readable page-turning style that made him the ultimate airport blockbuster author, his books selling in the tens of millions.
“Through his books, Michael Crichton served as an inspiration to students of all ages, challenged scientists in many fields, and illuminated the mysteries of the world in a way we could all understand,” his family said in a statement.
Crichton was, of course, also a prolific screenwriter, producer and director, with Westworld and Coma among his directorial credits.
“Michael’s talent out-scaled even his own dinosaurs of Jurassic Park," said Steven Spielberg. "He was the greatest at blending science with big theatrical concepts, which is what gave credibility to dinosaurs again walking the earth."