Crichton is best known as the mind behind such modern literary classics as The Andromeda Strain, Coma, and Jurassic Park and also as the creator of the television smash, ER.
A family statement said that the prolific author died of cancer. It was a private battle, as news of his death shocked readers and entertainment fans alike across the world.
Crichton went to Harvard medical school and made a career as a doctor until the pen proved to strong to resist. His background in medicine certainly added unseen realism to a hospital show in ER.
Many of Crichton's books dealt with the human power over science and how that immense responsibility is used. But, the author was able to completely change genres and effectively spin a story out of a completely different subject arena, such as 1975's The Great Train Robbery.
Crichton, who also wrote the Jurassic Park sequel Lost World and Rising Sun, is survived by his wife, the former Sherri Alexander and his daughter, Taylor.
His books have been turned into movies on numerous occasions and made hundreds of millions of dollars in box office. Crichton's works continue in Hollywood with a 2009 update of Westworld and the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park series.
Crichton's page to screen historyThe Andromeda Strain
The Great Train Robbery
The 13th Warrior
Michael Crichton's books on SheKnows Shopping
Celebrity names: How do you say that? Including Crichton!
Angela Bassett talks about scrubbing in for ER's final season