Michael Crichton, award winning author and filmmaker, best known for his work on “Jurassic Park” and the television series ER, died Tuesday in Los Angeles, after a private battle with cancer. He was 66.

Mr. Crichton’s success began with his first novel, and his first bestseller, “The Andromeda Strain,” which was published in 1969 while he was still in medical school at Harvard University. It was adapted to film by Universal three years later.

Although he didn’t stick with medicine, his experiences had a hand in the creation of ER, and science and technology were integral parts of his fiction. Some of his most popular works include: Congo, Sphere, Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Prey, State of Fear and Next.

“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.

From the very start, the exciting nature of Mr. Crichton’s novels easily translated into screenplays, which led him to co-write, direct, and produce the adaptations of many of his own works and even get involved with other screenplays, such as Westworld in 1975 and Twister in 1996.

One of the most well known writers in the world, Mr. Crichton’s works have been translated into 36 languages. He even had a dinosaur named after him “" the ankylosaur, or the Crichtonsaurus bohlini.

He was a loving husband and father to his wife Sherry and daughter Taylor, and leaves behind a science fiction legacy that many will fall short of meeting.

A private funeral is planned.

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