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Family Cites Writer's Private Battle Against Cancer

NEW YORK (CBS) ― The family of Michael Crichton, the million-selling author of such historic and prehistoric science fantasies as "Jurassic Park," "Timeline" and "The Andromeda Strain," says the author has died in Los Angeles.

Crichton died Tuesday at age 66. He had been privately battling cancer, his family said.

"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.

Crichton's works often focused on the use and abuse of emerging technologies which spiral out of control and endanger people, as was the case in "Prey," "Sphere," "The Andromeda Strain" and "Timeline." The author's medical background also played a role in his work, leading to the award-winning television series "ER." His most recent novel, 2006's "Next," dealt with genetics and law.

In recent years, he was the rare writer to get on well with President Bush, perhaps because of his skepticism about global warming, which Crichton addressed in the 2004 novel, "State of Favor." Crichton's views were strongly condemned by environmentalists, who alleged that the author was hurting efforts to pass legislation to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide.

A new novel by Crichton had been tentatively scheduled to come next month, but publisher HarperCollins said the book was postponed indefinitely because of his illness.

According to the writer's Web site, michaelcrichton.net, Crichton graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, received his MD from Harvard Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He has taught courses in anthropology at Cambridge University and writing at MIT.

"While the world knew him as a great storyteller that challenged our preconceived notions about the world around us -- and entertained us all while doing so -- his wife Sherri, daughter Taylor, family and friends knew Michael Crichton as a devoted husband, loving father and generous friend who inspired each of us to strive to see the wonders of our world through new eyes," his family said.

http://wbztv.com/national/Michael.Crichton.dead.2.857059.html
 
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