Credit: Shutterstock/Michael Crichton

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels

Author Michael Crichton sold more than 200 million books around the world, with his Jurassic Park novels inspiring a hit movie franchise and dinosaur-mania around the world.

Over a dozen of his books were the basis for box-office hits, including Disclosure and State of Fear while The Great Train Robbery and Congo were among his big screen credits.

Born in Chicago and raised on Long Island, Michael studied medicine at Harvard, but had already published his first novels by the time he graduated and so never went into practice as a doctor, although he would go on to create ratings-topping medic drama ER.

Crichton headed for LA, where as a movie-maker his first success was Westworld – based on his own bestseller.

Crichton had been exploring science fiction in his latter novels, when he died following a long and private battle with cancer. His last book Micro was published posthumously, along with two other novels from his writing archive.