Remembering Michael Crichton
Through his books, Michael Crichton served as an inspiration to students, challenged scientists in many fields, and enlightened the mysteries of the world in a way we could all comprehend. On Tuesday, after a courageous and private battle against cancer, the best-selling author and filmmaker died unexpectedly.
The late Michael Crichton’s works of futuristic fiction made him one of the world’s most significant novelists.
In the 1990s he had America’s number one movie (Jurassic Park), its number one bestseller (Disclosure) and its top TV series (ER).
Born in Chicago in 1942, Crichton was the eldest of four children. The son of a journalist, he always saw writing as a regular occupation.
He was an experimenter known for his stories of disaster and systematic breakdown. Crichton’s first bestseller, The Andromeda Strain, was published in 1969 while he was a medical student at Harvard.
The book, about a deadly alien virus that threatens to wipe out life on Earth, became the first of his works to be filmed.
In “Jurassic Park,” made into a blockbuster 1993 movie, Crichton’s human characters were chased around by rampaging dinosaurs created genetically on an island run by an ambitious scientist.
“The world knew him as a great story teller that challenged our preconceived notions about the world around us — and entertained us all while doing so,” the family statement said.
Steven Spielberg added: “Michael was a gentle soul who reserved his flamboyant side for his novels. There is no one in the wings that will ever take his place.”
For me, he was not one of the writers I truly admire. But he entertained me. I would remember him for the movie adaptation of his novel Congo. Evil gorillas have never been brutally dismembered by a laser gun inside a volcano so gracefully.