People we love: Gene Roddenberry

Eugene Wesley “Gene” Roddenberry, August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991

Born on this Day in 1921.

Without Gene Roddenberry, we may never have known what it means to “Boldly go where no man has gone before.” We would never have known that Vulcans are highly logical. And we would never have known that “Resitance is Futile.”

Television screenwriter and producer Gene Roddenberry is, of course, best known for bringing us Star Trek. Star Trek premiered in 1966 and ran for three sesons. But the Star Trek universe conitnues today after 725 television episodes of multiple “Generations.” The twelfth feature film is due out in May 2013.

During World War II, Roddenberry flew 89 combat missions in the United States Army. After the war he worked as a commerical pilot. He later joined the Los Angeles Police Department, following in his father’s footsteps. From there he began to focus his time on writing scripts for television.

Roddenberry was married twice. First to Eileen Rexroat. They divorced after Roddenberry had affairs with Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols and Majel Barrett. He divorced his first wife and married Majel Barrett in 1969. They remained married until his death.

Roddenberry died from a blood clot on October 24, 1991. He was 70.

The rest, as they say, is history. Or the future.

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