GENE RODDENBERRY - CREATOR OF STAR TREK
"The Great Bird of the Galaxy"
Gene Roddenberry, writer, film and television producer, led a life as
colourful and exciting as almost any high-adventure fiction.
He was born in El Paso, Texas, on August 19, 1921, his family moved to Los Angeles when he was three, and there he spent
his boyhood with his brother, Bob, and sister, Doris. After leaving High School, he studied three years of college pre-law and
then transferred his academic interest to aeronautical engineering and qualified for a pilot's license.
The more extreme end of the fan spectrum has been known to hail Star Trek's creator Gene Roddenberry as a great; 20th century humanist.
But his detractors accuse him of saddling Star Trek with a slushy
moralizing agenda that prevents it from realizing its potential as amateur science fiction series.
A larger-than-life, bluff and vivacious man, Roddenberry worked on a variety of successful TV series in the '50s and '60s such as 'Have Gun Will
Travel' and 'The Lieutenant'. He toyed for years with the idea of producing an intelligent sci-fi show with an ensemble cast frequently describing what was to
become Star Trek as 'a Wagon Train to the Stars'.
Roddenberry fought a long campaign to bring Trek to the screen. The first pilot, 'The Cage', was ejected for being 'too cerebral'. The second,
introducing the crucial Kirk and Spock axis, gave the series the green light. Yet the original Star Trek (1966-1969) only
lasted three seasons and it was only with the help of syndicated repeats that Roddenberry's baby.