Michael Crichton, award-winning author and creator of the television show ER has passed away at the age of 66. According to ET Online, Crichton had been battling cancer for some time.

The following statement was released by Crichton's family:

While the world knew him as a great storyteller that challenged our preconceived notions about the world around us -- and entertained us all while doing so -- his wife Sherri, daughter Taylor, family and friends knew Michael Crichton as a devoted husband, loving father and generous friend who inspired each of us to strive to see the wonders of our world through new eyes. He did this with a wry sense of humor that those who were privileged to know him personally will never forget.

Crichton is perhaps best known as being the author of Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain. Numerous other novels of Crichton's have also been adapted to film, including Sphere, Timeline, Congo, Rising Sun and The 13th Warrior (based on his novel Eaters of the Dead.