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Friday, August 19, 2005

This Day in History - Gene Roddenberry

I was just going to post a little snippet that it Roddenberry was born. (Roddenberry! You know, the father of Star Trek!)
But after reading it, I thought it was interesting, so I'll post the whole thing.

From HistoryChannel.com:
1921 Gene Roddenberry born

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.

Although the show ran for only three years and never placed better than No. 52 in the ratings, Roddenberry's sci-fi series became a cult classic and spawned four television series and nine movies.

Roddenberry died on October 24, 1991, and was one of the first people to be 'buried' in space.
Oh. And Charlie's Angels ended today in 1981 too.

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