Gene Roddenberry

1921 – 1991

American scriptwriter and producer

Gene Roddenberry was born in El Paso, Texas and spent his boyhood in Los Angeles. He served as a pilot in World War II for the U.S. Army Air Corps and afterward became a commercial pilot. He moved to Hollywood in the early 1950s to pursue television writing, creating scripts for many shows including Have Gun, Will Travel and West Point. In 1963 he created and produced his first show, The Lieutenant, followed in 1966 by the series for which he will forever be known, Star Trek. Initially Star Trek was not enormously successful, and the network canceled it after three seasons. Yet the show gained a large following in reruns, in time becoming an international phenomenon. In Star Trek, Roddenberry used science fiction to present a future in which humanity has finally set aside personal differences to create a society based on equality and fairness. The stories in Star Trek entertain, but also act as a reflection of our world and challenge us to reconsider our prejudices and assumptions.

In 1979, Roddenberry produced the feature film Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which reunited the show's original cast. Further films continued the adventures of the starship Enterprise and her crew. In 1987, he created a new television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation. A long line of films and spin-off series have followed, establishing Star Trek as the most enduring and popular science fiction franchise ever made.

In 1986, Roddenberry received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the first writer/producer to be so honored. Star Trek: The Next Generation was awarded with the 1987 Peabody Award for the "Best of the Best." This and other series have garnered numerous Emmy awards. Star Trek was the first television series to have an episode preserved in the Smithsonian Institution.

Selected Filmography:
Star Trek (1966 – 1969)
Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973 – 1974)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987 – 1994)
Andromeda (2000 – 2005) (series creator)
Earth: Final Conflict (1997 – 2002) (series creator)