Fun Facts Friday: Michael Crichton

October 23, 2020

Michael Crichton (23 October, 1942 – 4 November, 2008) was an American author of medical fiction and techno-thrillers, as well as a successful filmmaker. Mr. Crichton is known for many projects, including Westworld, ER, Jurassic Park, and The Andromeda Strain.

Books by Michael Crichton*
Books by Michael Crichton*

  1. Mr. Crichton was born in Chicago, IL but was raised in Roslyn, NY (Long Island).
  2. Ever since he was a young man, the author showed interest in writing. He’s first published piece was an article about trip he took published in the New York Times.
  3. Studying literature in Harvard College Mr. Crichton suspected his professor was giving him bad grades without merit. In his expose, the author submitted an essay written by George Orwell, and received a B-. As a result of this experiment, Mr. Crichton realized that if Orwell only got a B- he should change his major, and he did. In 1964 he earned a bachelor’s degree in biological anthropology summa cum laude.
  4. While he was at Harvard Medical School, Mr. Crichton published books under the nom de plume of Jeffrey Hudson, a 17th century court dwarf. His author noms de plume are Michael Douglas and John Lange
  5. Even though he graduated from Harvard, and took a post-doctoral fellowship, Mr. Crichton was disillusioned with the profession and never got his medical license.
  6. The first novel he published under his own name was The Andromeda Strain (1969), which established him as a series author, and became a best seller. The movie rights were sold soon after, and in 1971 the movie was released.
  7. While discussing a project with Steven Spielberg, the director learned that Mr. Crichton was writing a novel about bringing dinosaurs back to life (originally, the idea was that of graduate student recreating one). Universal bought the rights before the novel was finished, Spielberg directed Jurassic Park and the rest is pop-culture history.
    The project they were discussing, by the way, became the ER TV series.
  8. Mr. Crichton also wrote non-fiction books, including an introductory to programming book, his experiences in the medical industry, and even a coffee table book of complied works of his friend, artist Jasper Jones.
  9. The author’s books sold over 200 million copies worldwide.
  10. After the author’s death from cancer, his extensive collection of 20th century art was sold at Christie’s.

Books by Michael Crichton*

Zohar – Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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