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Michael Crichton, million-selling science-fiction author, dies at 66

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Best-selling author Michael Crichton, who wrote such novels as "The Andromeda Strain" and "Jurassic Park," and created the popular TV drama "ER," has died at 66, his family said today.

Crichton, a medical doctor turned novelist whose books have sold more than 150 million copies worldwide, died "unexpectedly" Tuesday in Los Angeles after a private battle with cancer, his family said.

Crichton was born in Chicago on Oct. 23, 1942 and wrote his first novels under pen names while attending Harvard Medical School. "The Andromeda Strain," which was published in 1969, became his first best-seller.

In addition to "Jurassic Park" and its sequel, "The Lost World," which became blockbuster Hollywood films, Crichton wrote "Congo," "The Terminal Man," "Prey" and "State of Fear" among others.

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