'Jurassic Park' Author Michael Crichton Dead At 66

Author, who also was creator of 'ER,' succumbed to a private battle with cancer.

Noted author and producer Michael Crichton died early this morning (November 5) after a private battle with cancer. He was 66.

"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," reads a statement from Crichton's representative. "He did this with a wry sense of humor that those who were privileged to know him personally will never forget."

A prolific author of science-fiction and techno-thriller novels, Crichton was best known for penning "Jurassic Park" and its sequel, "The Lost World," modern-day Frankenstein tales about an eccentric billionaire who brings dinosaurs back to life with disastrous results. Both novels were runaway commercial successes, and both were adapted for the screen by Steven Spielberg.

In all, Crichton saw twelve of his novels make it to cineplexes, beginning with "The Andromeda Strain" in 1971 and including "Congo," "Sphere," "The 13th Warrior" and "Rising Sun," among others.

Crichton was also the creator of the medical show "ER," which, as of this season, is the most Emmy-nominated program in history. The show about a Chicago emergency room is currently in its 15th season.

According to Crichton's representative, a private funeral service will be held, but no details will be released to the public.