Born in Chicago, Michael Crichton was grew up on Long Island, where he was a 6' 9" basketball star at Roslyn High School. In 1960 he entered Harvard University to study English, but after receiving poor grades, he switched his major to anthropology, graduating summa cum laude in 1965. Crichton then attended Harvard Medical School, where he graduated with an M.D. in 1969. To help pay his way through medical school, Crichton began writing thrillers under a variety of pseudonyms. The most successful effort from this period was "A Case Of Need", written as Jeffrey Hudson, which went on to win the Edgar Award for Best Mystery of the Year. Though he never became a licensed doctor, Crichton did go on to work as a postdoctorate fellow, but soon decided to turn his full attention to writing. His background in anthropology and medicine helped him write a long list of bestsellers. "The Andromeda Strain", which he wrote in his final year of medical school, sold millions and helped established him as a perennial best-selling novelist. Many of his novels have been made into Hollywood movies, including the phenomenally successful "Jurassic Park" and its sequel "The Lost World." Crichton has also run his own software company, written both a computer game and one of the first books on information technology, and made the first film to feature computerized images ("Westworld", 1973). He created the Emmy Award-winning television drama "E.R.", a show on which he also served as the executive producer, and has written books on two of his long-standing passions: modern art and travel. After a long battle with cancer, Crichton died in Los Angeles on August 4, 2008 at the age of 66.