Best-selling author of thrillers Jurassic Park, Congo and Disclosure
Michael Crichton, the author behind thrillers Jurassic Park, as well as books like Congo and Disclosure, has died aged 66 after a battle with cancer.
A family statement 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."
"He will be profoundly missed by those whose lives he touched."
The statement also paid tribute to a "devoted husband, loving father and generous friend".
Chicago-born Michael Crichton burst onto the movie scene when his 1971 novel The Andromeda Strain was turned into a film.
He went on to create the long-running US hospital drama ER.
His books have sold more than 150m copies and many of his novels and screenplays were adapted for cinema.
The most famous and popular by far was Jurassic Park, which hit cinema screens in 1993, and then its sequel The Lost World.
Harvard Medical School graduate Michael was survived by his wife Sherri and daughter Taylor.
* A new Crichton novel, scheduled for publication in the states next month, was indefinitely postponed.