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HHH: Stardate–August 19, 1921

By RT | August 19, 2009

a agene

TV producer Gene Roddenberry, best known as the creator of Star Trek, is born in El Paso, Texas. His family moved to Los Angeles when Roddenberry was a toddler, and his father became a police officer. Roddenberry also studied criminal justice at Los Angeles City College but became a pilot instead through the Civilian Pilot Training Program. During World War II, Roddenberry flew bombing missions in the South Pacific with the U.S. Army Air Corps. Shot down during a raid, he survived and won a medal. A second crash, when he was working as a Pan Am pilot after the war, killed 14 people and convinced Roddenberry to give up flying.

Instead, Roddenberry became a police officer like his father. But before long, he discovered that living the police life paid less than writing about it for TV, so he began writing scripts for Dragnet and other police TV dramas. In 1963, he produced a short-lived NBC show, The Lieutenant, about life in the U.S. Marines.

A lifelong science-fiction fan, Roddenberry wanted to try his hand making a sci-fi TV program. He convinced superstar Lucille Ball to fund a pilot. Although the first pilot was rejected, a second take was picked up, and Star Trek premiered in 1966.

I’m glad I looked this up, today. Mr. Roddenberry was an interesting man.

Topics: HHH, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “HHH: Stardate–August 19, 1921”

  1. Old NFO Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 12:33 am

    No question! I didn’t know about the stint as a cop either!

  2. RT Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I didn’t know any of it, frankly. I just knew about his creation of Star Trek.

    Very interesting life.

  3. kaveman Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Best part of all is that when he died, his wife(the voice of the computer, Bones’ nurse in the original and Troy’s Mother on TNG) called up NASA and asked if they could put his ashes on the next shuttle mission and spread them out into space.

    NASA replied, not a problem, bring his ashes in and we’ll take him up.

  4. Standin' John Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Wow Mr. Roddenberry had quite the bio.

    I still like Star Wars better though (before Lucas decided to drop a huge steaming pile on my childhood, of course).

  5. RT Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    I didn’t know his wife’s role in things. NEAT! They were finally able to take his ashes up not to long ago, right?

    Standin’ John
    I liked the first Star Wars movie (even got to see it and Empire Strikes Back in the movie theater), but the following movies just didn’t keep my interest.