'Jurassic Park' author, 'ER' creator Crichton
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Michael Crichton, who helped create the TV show "ER" and wrote the best-sellers "Jurassic Park," "The Andromeda Strain," "Sphere" and "Rising Sun," has died in Los Angeles, his public relations firm said in a news release.
Crichton died unexpectedly Tuesday "after a courageous and private battle against cancer," the release said. He was 66.
Michael Crichton was born in Chicago in 1942 and grew up in New York's suburbs. His father was a journalist and Michael loved the writing profession. He went to medical school partly out of a concern he wouldn't be able to make writing a career, but the success of "The Andromeda Strain" in 1969 -- the book was chosen by the Book-of-the-Month Club and optioned by Hollywood -- made him change his mind, though he still had an M.D.
Though most of Crichton's books were major best-sellers involving science, he could ruffle feathers when he took on social issues. "Rising Sun" (1992) came out during a time when Americans feared Japanese ascendance, particularly when it came to technology. "Disclosure" (1994) was about a sexual harassment case. Crichton won an Emmy, a Peabody, a Writers Guild of America Award for "ER," and won other awards as well.