Richard Farson has led several organizations noted for innovative programs. Farson helped found the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute in 1958 and remains its president. In this capacity he directs its International Leadership Forum, an Internet-based think tank that brings influential leaders together to consider critical policy issues. A University of Chicago Ph.D. in psychology, Farson has been a naval officer, college dean, research director, organizational consultant, and a Fellow of the Harvard Business School's Human Relations Faculty. He is the author of several books, including the critically acclaimed bestseller Management of the Absurd, now published in eleven languages. Farson lives in La Jolla, California.
John Michael Crichton, known as Michael Crichton, was born on October 28, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. He wrote novels while attending Harvard University and Harvard Medical School to help pay the tuition. One of these, The Andromeda Strain, which was published in 1969, became a bestseller. After graduating summa cum laude, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute in California before becoming a full-time writer and film director. His carefully researched novels included Eaters of the Dead, The Terminal Man, The Great Train Robbery, Congo, Sphere, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure, The Lost World, Airframe, and Micro. He also wrote non-fiction works including Five Patients: The Hospital Explained, Jasper Johns, and Travels. In the late 1960s, he also wrote under the pen names Jeffrey Hudson and John Lange. He has received several awards including Writer of the Year in 1970 from the Association of American Medical Writers and two Edgar Awards in 1968 and in 1979. Many of his novels have been made into highly successful films, six of which he directed. He was also the creator and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning television series ER. In addition to his writing and directorial success, his expertise in information science enabled him to run a software company and develop a computer game. He died of cancer on November 4, 2008 at the age of 66.