John Michael Crichton, 1942 - 2008

portrait of Michael Crichton
Harvard Gazette photo by Jon Chase (11 April 2002)
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Born: 23 October 1942, Chicago, Illinois
Died: 4 November 2008, Los Angeles, California

Crichton grew up on Long Island at Roslyn, New York. He started writing early and had a travel column in the New York Times at age fourteen. He entered Harvard College pursuing a degree in literature but disagreements with faculty caused him to switch to anthropology, graduating summa cum laude in 1964. He started writing as John Lange, a play on his six-foot, nine-inch frame, to maintain anonymity when he enrolled at Harvard Medical School where he earned his M.D. in 1969. His breakthrough novel was The Andromeda Strain, he wrote at least 25 novels, some thirteen of which became movies. He was very interested in the movies, writing the screenplays for several of his own works as well as Robin Cook's Coma, and directing or producing most of them. The first use of 2D computer-generated imagery (CGI) in a motion picture was in his Westworld (1973), the first 3D CGI used was in the sequel, Futureworld (1976). In 1994 he was the only artist ever to top the charts in three major media, with the film Jurassic Park, the television show ER, and the novel Disclosure all at #1. Despite being known for his fiction, Crichton was dedicated to the scientific process and has given a number of significant speeches on the flaws in the political crusade against global warming. He kept his personal life quiet but married five times, he had a daughter by his fourth wife in 1969 and his fifth wife was pregnant when he died. His throat cancer was not publicly known until after his sudden death, his doctors and family had expected recovery.

Biography from Wikipedia and Michael Crichton, the Official Site

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