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Michael Crichton Sold 200 Million Books AND Created The TV Show ER – Looking Back At His Impressive Life And Career

It’s been almost 12 years since author Michael Crichton died. He’s credited for so many books and movies and television shows that we love, so we want to pay tribute to that, and his creative genius with a look back at his life and career. Do you know that Crichton was 6’9″ tall, by the way?



It’s been almost 12 years since author Michael Crichton died. The novels “Congo,” “Sphere,” “Jurassic Park,” and “Rising Sun” are among his best-known writings. To date, he has sold more than 200 million copies. Many of his books, most notably all of the ones already mentioned here, were made into movies. The TV show “E.R.” was also conceived by Michael Crichton. You’ve probably read one of his books, watched one of the movies based on them, or watched an episode of “E.R.” He is, in essence, among the most prolific and well-known authors in existence. Sadly, he died in November 2008 at the age of just 66. He’s responsible for so many books and movies and television shows and we just want to pay tribute to that and his creative genius with a look back at his impressive life and career. Do you know that Crichton was 6’9″ tall, by the way?

On October 23, 1942, John Michael Crichton was born in Chicago. John, the father, worked as a journalist. Zula, his mother, was a housewife. He was raised in Roslyn, New York, on Long Island. He was very young when he developed an interest in writing (as most writers, this one included, do). When he was 14, an article he wrote about a trip to the Sunset Crater in Flagstaff, Arizona was published in The New York Times. He owed his love of learning to Roslyn’s school system. Crichton enrolled to Harvard as a literature major even though he had always aspired to be a writer. However, he quickly came to believe that the professor’s grades were unusually low. In addition, the professor was a harsh critic of Crichton’s writing. Crichton made the decision to experiment as a result. He gave his professor an essay by George Orwell, author of “1984”, but he signed it with his own name. He earned a B-!

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Many years later, Crichton said: “Now Orwell was a wonderful writer, and if a B-minus was all he could get, I thought I’d better drop English as my major…” Crichton switched his major to biological anthropology, received his degree with honors, and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa society. A few years later, he applied to Harvard Medical School. After only two weeks, he knew he didn’t want to be there. He also came to the realization that everyone, including practicing doctors who enjoyed their employment, detested medical school. He continued his education and earned his M.D. while also working as a freelance novelist.


The John Lange (Crichton’s pen name) novel was released by New American Library in 1966. He went by a false name at the time since he still intended to become a doctor. He didn’t want his incoming patients to assume that he may write about them or their experiences in one of his upcoming books. The book was successful enough to inspire “John Lange” to write a series of books. 1967’s “Scratch One,” the second novel tells the story of a handsome, privileged, charming lawyer named Roger Carr who only practices law as a means of supporting his playboy lifestyle. He is taken for an assassin while in Nice, France. In just 11 days, Crichton completed the book. Later, he claimed he didn’t enjoy the book. The third book written by John Lange, “Easy Go,” was released in 1968. It narrates the tale of Egyptologist Harold Barnaby, who, while deciphering some hieroglyphics, finds a hidden message.

Crichton’s fourth book, 1968’s “A Case of Need,” is a medical thriller and for it, he used a new pen name – Jeffrey Hudson. Technology’s significance in the story’s narrative in this book marked a turning point for Crichton. In 1969, he received an Edgar Award for “A Case of Need.” James Coburn starred in the adaptation of “A Case of Need” called “The Carey Treatment” in 1972.

Also in 1969, 27-year-old Crichton released “The Andromeda Strain”, which if you haven’t read it, you should download to your Kindle or iPad ASAP. The killer virus from outer space is the subject of the book. Crichton’s debut bestseller and the first novel to be released under his true name was “The Andromeda Strain.” A movie was produced of it.


Crichton released a number of novels throughout the 1970s and 1980s including “The Great Train Robbery” and “Eaters of the Dead.” Let’s go on to his greatest achievements, shall we?

Crichton published “Jurassic Park” in 1990. For Crichton’s book about the disastrous dinosaur park, four studios engaged in a bidding war. He received $1.5 million for selling the book’s rights and another $500,000 for providing advice on the movie while it was being made. And Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film, which he also directed, was a great hit. “Jurassic Park” made more than $1 billion at the box office and it only cost $63 million to make. Of course, “The Lost World” was released in 1995. and was also turned into a popular movie.

Crichton continued writing and publishing books until his death. In 2002, “Prey,” and in 2004, “State of Fear.” came to mind. “Next,” his final book to be released while he was still alive, was released in 2006. Learn more about it by reading it.


In 2002, a genus of ankylosaurus, the final non-avian dinosaur with horns, was named in Crichtonsaurus’ honor.

Crichton has five marriages. Four of those unions were broken up via divorce. At the time of his death, his wife Sherri was six months pregnant with their son John Michael. On February 12, 2009, he was born.

Crichton’s unborn son wasn’t mentioned in his will. When he passed away, Sherri asked the Los Angeles courts to designate their son as an heir. Taylor Crichton, the daughter of Crichton, objected to this action, but the courts ruled in John Michael’s favor. A third of his late father’s inheritance will now go to his son. The birthdate of John Michael Todd Crichton is February 12, 2009. As previously reported, Crichton also shares a daughter, Taylor, with his fourth wife, Anne-Marie Martin, whom he wed from 1987 to 2003. Taylor was born in 1989.


He currently ranks as the 20th most earning author of all time because to the ongoing cinematic adaptations of his books.

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