Michael Crichton Net Worth, Career And Personal Life

Michael Crichton was an influential American author, television, and film producer. At the time of his death in 2008, he had a net worth of $400 million, equivalent to around $480 million today after adjusting …

Michael Crichton was an influential American author, television, and film producer. At the time of his death in 2008, he had a net worth of $400 million, equivalent to around $480 million today after adjusting for inflation. Crichton was known for his best-selling novels like “Congo,” “Sphere,” “Jurassic Park,” and “Rising Sun.” His works have sold over 200 million copies, and many were adapted into blockbuster films, generating billions at the global box office. Additionally, Crichton created the iconic television series “ER,” which ran for 15 seasons and 331 episodes, earning billions in syndication fees.

What Were Michael Crichton’s Early Years Like?

Michael Crichton was born on October 23, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Roslyn, Long Island, New York. He attended Harvard University, where he initially pursued English. Suspecting that a professor was unfairly grading his papers, Crichton submitted an essay by George Orwell and received a B-. This frustration led him to switch his focus to medicine. He graduated summa cum laude with a degree in biological anthropology and continued to Harvard Medical School. Despite realizing two weeks into med school that he disliked it, he persevered and earned his M.D., all while writing novels on the side.

How Did Crichton’s Writing Career Begin?

Crichton completed his first novel, “Odds On,” in 1966 while still in medical school. The novel, about a hotel robbery planned by a computer program, introduced themes of technology and its potential consequences, which would become hallmarks of his future works. His breakthrough came with the 1969 novel “The Andromeda Strain,” about a killer virus from outer space. The book became a bestseller and was adapted into a successful film, establishing Crichton as a significant creative force in Hollywood at the age of 27.

What Were Crichton’s Most Notable Works?

Between 1969 and 1990, Crichton published several novels, but 1990 marked a pivotal year with the release of “Jurassic Park.” The novel’s success was only surpassed by the 1993 film adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg. The movie rights were sold after a four-studio bidding war for $1.5 million, with Crichton earning an additional $500,000 to consult during production. The film grossed over $1 billion at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing film at the time. Crichton’s 1995 novel “The Lost World” also became a successful film.

How Did Crichton Impact Television?

In 1994, Crichton created the medical drama series “ER,” which became one of the most successful TV series in history. The show aired 331 episodes over 15 seasons and generated over $4 billion in syndication revenue. “ER” not only solidified Crichton’s reputation in television but also set a high standard for medical dramas.

What Was Crichton’s Personal Life Like?

Crichton was married five times, with four marriages ending in divorce. He had a daughter, Taylor Anne, with his fourth wife. At the time of his death, his fifth wife, Sherri, was six months pregnant with their son, John Michael, who was born on February 12, 2009. Unfortunately, Crichton’s will did not account for his unborn son, leading to a legal dispute with his daughter Taylor over the estate. Ultimately, an LA court ruled that John was entitled to one-third of his father’s estate.

How Did Crichton Pass Away and What Happened to His Estate?

Michael Crichton was diagnosed with lymphoma in early 2008, which later developed into throat cancer. He passed away on November 4, 2008, at the age of 66. His widow, Sherri, petitioned the court to recognize their son, John, as an heir, a move opposed by Taylor. The court concluded that John was indeed entitled to a share of the estate.

What About Crichton’s Art Collection?

Throughout his life, Crichton collected art, focusing on 20th-century American pieces. His collection included works by Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jasper Johns, who was a close friend. Crichton served on the board of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art towards the end of his life. In May 2010, Christie’s auctioned approximately 100 pieces from his collection, generating $93 million. A notable piece, Jasper Johns’ “Flag 1960-1966,” sold for $28.6 million, nearly tripling the previous record for a Johns’ artwork.

What is Michael Crichton’s Legacy?

Michael Crichton’s legacy is vast and multifaceted. He left an indelible mark on literature, film, and television. His novels continue to captivate readers, and their film adaptations have entertained millions worldwide. “ER” remains a benchmark in medical dramas. Crichton’s contributions to both science fiction and the entertainment industry ensure that his influence will be felt for generations to come. His life was a testament to creativity, perseverance, and the power of storytelling.

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