Man is to survive, he will have learned to take delight in the essential
difference between people and cultures"-Gene
WESLEY) RODDENBERRY. Born
Eugene Wesley Roddenberry in El Paso, Texas, U.S., 19 August 1921. Educated at
Los Angeles City College; University of Miami; Columbia University; University
of Southern California; honorary D.HL. from Emerson College, 1973; honorary
Doctor of Science from Clarkson College, 1981. Married Majel Leigh Hudec (Majel
Barrett), 1969, children: Darleen, Dawn Alison, Eugene Wesley. Served in U.S.
Army Air Force, World War II. Pilot for Pan American Airways, late 1946-49;
worked for Los Angeles Police Department, 1949-51; television scriptwriter,
1951-62; wrote first science fiction script "The Secret Defense of
117," episode for Chevron Theater, 1952; created and produced The
Lieutenant, 1963; Star Trek, 1966 and Star Trek: The Next Generation, 1987.
Recipient: Distinguished Flying Cross; Emmy Award; Hugo Award. Died in Santa
Monica, California, U.S., 24 October 1991.
Theatre "The Secret Defense of 117" (writer)
1955-58 Jane Wyman Theater (writer)
1955-59 Highway Patrol (writer)
1956-58 The West Point Story (writer)
1957-63 Have Gun, Will Travel (writer)
1958-63 Naked City
1959-61 Bat Masterson 1959-62 The Detectives
1961-66 Dr. Kildare
1963-64 The Lieutenant (creator and producer)
1966-69 Star Trek (creator and producer)
1973-74 Star Trek (animated show)
1987-91 Star Trek: The Next Generation (executive producer)
1973 Genesis II (pilot)
1974 Planet Earth (pilot)
1974 The Questor Tapes (pilot)
1975 Strange New World (pilot)
1977 Spectre (directed; pilot)
Pretty Maids All
In a Row (producer and writer), 1971; Star Trek: The Motion Picture
(producer), 1979; (as executive consultant) Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,
1982; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, 1984; Star Trek IV: The
Voyage Home 1986; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, 1989
The Making of
"Star Trek" (with Stephen E. Whitfield). New York: Ballantine
Star Trek: The
Motion Picture. New York: Pocket Books, 1979.
The Making of
"Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (with Susan Sackett). New York:
Pocket Books, 1980.
Star Trek: The
First Twenty-Five Years (with Susan Sackett). New York: Pocket Books, 1991.
Gene Roddenberry: The
Last Conversation: A Dialogue with the Creator of Star Trek (with Yvonne
Fern). Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1994.
Gene Roddenberry was
the first television writer to be honored with his own star on the Hollywood
Walk of Fame (on 4 September 1985).
Gene Roddenberry had an
optimistic vision of humanity’s future-a future where poverty does not exist,
one where technology is not the great segregator but the great equalizer..
Born in El Paso, Texas to Eugene
Edward Roddenberry and Caroline Glen, Roddenberry spent his boyhood in Los
Angeles, California, where his family had moved so his father could pursue a
career with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Following in his father's
footsteps after high school, Roddenberry took classes in police studies at Los
Angeles City College, and headed that school's Police Club.
In that role, he liaised with the
FBI, thanking them for sending speakers and securing copies of the FBI Code and
publications for club use, and attempted to take fingerprint records of the
college community for the FBI's Civil Identification Division.
He later transferred his academic
interest to aeronautical engineering and qualified for a pilot's license.
He volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Corps in the fall of 1941 and was ordered
into training as a flying cadet when the United States entered World War II.
Emerging from Kelly Field, Texas,
as a Second Lieutenant, Roddenberry was sent to the South Pacific where he
entered combat at Guadalcanal, flying B-17 bombers out of the newly-captured
Japanese airstrip, which became Henderson Field. He flew missions against enemy
strongholds at Bougainville and participated in the Munda invasion. In all, he
took part in approximately 89 missions and sorties. He was decorated with the
Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.
While in the South Pacific, he
also began to write. He sold stories to flying magazines, and later poetry to
publications, including The New York Times. Upon his return from combat, he
became a trouble-shooter for the Air Force working out of Washington, D.C.,
investigating the causes of air crashes. At war's end, he joined Pan American
World Airways. During this time, he also studied literature at Columbia
It was on a flight from Calcutta
that his plane lost two engines and caught fire in mid-air, crashing at night in
the Syrian desert. As the senior surviving officer, Roddenberry sent two
Englishmen swimming across the Euphrates River in quest of the source of a light
he had observed just prior to the crash. Meanwhile, he parleyed with nomads who
had come to loot the dead. The Englishmen reached a Syrian military outpost,
which sent a small plane to investigate. Roddenberry returned with the small
plane to the outpost, where he broadcast a message that was relayed to Pan Am,
which sent a stretcher plane to the rescue. Roddenberry later received a Civil
Aeronautics commendation for his efforts during and after the crash.
Back in the States, Roddenberry
continued flying until he saw television for the first time. Correctly
estimating television's future, he realized that the new medium would need
writers and decided that Hollywood's film studios would soon dominate the new
industry. He acted immediately, left his flying career behind and went to
Hollywood, only to find the television industry still in its infancy, with few
openings for inexperienced writers. At a friend's suggestion, he joined the Los
Angeles Police Department, following in his father's footsteps and gaining
experiences which would be valuable to a writer.
By the time he had become a
sergeant, Roddenberry was selling scripts to such shows as Goodyear Theatre,
The Kaiser Aluminum Hour, Four Star Theater, Dragnet, The
Jane Wyman Theater and Naked City. Established as a writer, he turned
in his badge and became a freelancer. Later, he served as head writer for the
highly popular series Have Gun, Will Travel. His episode "Helen of
Abiginian" won the Writers Guild Award and was distributed to other writers
as a model script for the series. Next, he created and produced The
Lieutenant series, starring Gary Lockwood and Robert Vaughn; it told the
story of a young man learning the lessons of life while in the United States
Star Trek followed
(1966-1969). The first of the two pilots was pronounced "too cerebral"
by the network and rejected.
Once on the air, however, Star Trek
developed a loyal following and has since become the first television series to
have an episode preserved in the Smithsonian, where an 11-foot model of the
U.S.S. Enterprise is also exhibited on the same floor as the Wright brother's
original airplane and Lindbergh's "Spirit of St. Louis."
In addition to the
Smithsonian honors, NASA's first space shuttle was named Enterprise.
After the Star Trek series
ended, Roddenberry produced the motion picture "Pretty Maids All in a
Row," starring Rock Hudson, Angie Dickinson and Telly Savalas, and also
made a number of pilots for TV. Among these were Genesis II for CBS
(1973), about an Earth recovering from World War III. Next came The Questor
Tapes for NBC (1974), the story of an android in search of his creator, then
a sequel to Genesis II — Planet Earth, for ABC. He also co-wrote
and produced "Spectre" (1977), a two-hour horror movie for NBC.
Roddenberry served as a member of
the Writers Guild Executive Council and as a Governor of the Academy of
Television Arts and Sciences. He held three honorary doctorate degrees: Doctor
of Humane Letters from Emerson College (1977), Doctor of Literature from Union
College in Los Angeles, and Doctor of Science from Clarkson College in Potsdam,
New York (1981).
On September 4, 1986, Gene
Roddenberry's fans presented him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the
first writer/producer to be so honored. Star Trek: The Next Generation,
in its first year in syndication, was awarded with the 1987 Peabody Award for
the "Best of the Best." The series also garnered many of the
prestigious Emmy awards throughout its seven year run. In February 1990, the
March of Dimes honored Roddenberry with the Jack Benny Memorial Award of
On Thursday, October 24, 1991
Gene Roddenberry passed away and a world not so far away mourned the loss of one
of television's foremost pioneers.
In October, 1992, a year after
his death, a canister of Gene’s ashes was sent to Houston to the care and
keeping of astronaut Jim Weatherbee. The ashes were sealed in a slightly larger
machined stainless steel cylinder. Accompanied by a 5" X 7" American
flag the cylinder was carried on board the space shuttle Columbia and released
Barrett Roddenberry and Rod Roddenberry
Roddenberry was married twice. He
had two children by his first wife, Eileen Rexroat (to whom he was married 27
years) — Dawn, and the late Darleen. His second marriage was to Majel Barrett,
who played Nurse Christine Chapel in the original Star Trek series, Lwaxana Troi,
and the voice of the computer in all of the Star Trek series and several of the
They were married in Japan in a traditional Buddhist-Shinto
ceremony on August 6, 1969. He had one child, Rod Roddenberry, with Barrett.
After his death in 1991 in Santa
Monica, California, Roddenberry's estate allowed the creation of two
long-running television series based upon some of his previously unfilmed story
ideas and concepts. Earth: Final Conflict
and Andromeda were produced under the
guidance of Majel Barrett-Roddenberry.
A third Roddenberry storyline was adapted
in 1995 as the short-lived comic book Gene Roddenberry's Lost Universe.
There is an asteroid called 4659
Roddenberry and a crater on Mars that were named in his honor.
On October 4, 2002, the El Paso
Independent School District Planetarium was renamed The Gene Roddenberry
Planetarium. Eugene W. Roddenberry Jr. cut the ribbon at the dedication
nearly 33 years, the planetarium went un-named. However, on November 13, 2001,
the EPISD Board of Trustees decided that the name should be "The Gene
Roddenberry Planetarium" to honor the life and vision of the renowned El
the photo, EPISD Trustee Sal Mena, Star Trek actors Michael Dorn, Ethan
Phillips, Robert Picardo and Marina Sirtis, and Apollo XII/Gemini 8 Astronaut
Richard Gordon watch as Gene Roddenberry’s son, Eugene Wesley Roddenberry,
cuts the ribbon to the entrance of the Planetarium.
in El Paso on August 19, 1921, Gene Roddenberry's body of work encompassed
numerous highly successful stories, television series, and major motion
pictures.Gene Roddenberry died in 1991. Gene Roddenberry's name was chosen for
many reasons. Chief among them was his legendary optimism in his vision of the
future of mankind. His dream was one of peace among all people, on earth and
beyond, as we all discover the future together. His philosophy has touched the
hearts of millions from all walks of life. His dream is our mission. Thus, The
Gene Roddenberry Planetarium continues to forge ahead in its own star trek, to
reveal the wondrous Universe to all El Pasoans...
Majel Leigh Hudec, February 23, 1932 – December 18, 2008
Wesley "Rod" Roddenberry Jr. (b. February 5, 1974 in Los Angeles,
California) is an American television producer and the only son of Star Trek
creator Gene Roddenberry and actress Majel Barrett. He is known for his work in
science fiction, astronomy and space exploration. Rod is carry on the tradition
of "boldy going where no man has gone before" with roddenberry.com.
Eugene Wesley Roddenberry,
Jr., also known as Rod, was born into a family empire that is adored by
fans worldwide. He is the son of legendary science fiction producer Gene
Roddenberry, whose television series Star Trek changed the face of
television. Balancing his personal creativity with the responsibility of
his family legacy, it is Eugene's ambition to be the guardian of his
father's ideals as well as a champion of their introduction to a new
Although Eugene resisted
going into the family business throughout his teenage years, hints of him
starting to follow in his father's footsteps were evident even at a young
age. He quenched his thirst for space and astronomy working as a Telescope
Operator at the Mt. Wilson Observatory during the summer. Eugene
spent time teaching children to scuba dive at a camp in Big Pine Key,
Florida, encouraging them to explore the unknown worlds below the ocean's
surface. And during his years at Harvard-Westlake School, Eugene
first dipped his foot into the entertainment industry as a Production
Assistant on several of the Star Trek spin-off series.
Eugene's life changed
dramatically during his senior year of high school with the passing of his
father. It was at this point that he began to comprehend the enormity of
the universe his father had created. Eugene realized that Star Trek was
more than just a TV show, and wanted to understand why it touched the
lives of so many.
As Rod started to
understand the legacy he would be inheriting, college beckoned.
Leaving Los Angeles to attend Hampshire College in Massachusetts, Rod
balanced his educational path with his familial exploration. Studying
Astronomy, Physics, and Photography, he delved into areas that intrigued
and inspired him. Rod also spent time learning about Star Trek as
well as his father's life and work. Stories from millions of fans
and Gene's own writings, helped Rod discover a new world of philosophy,
social & cultural commentary and the in-depth examination of the human
Nearing the end of his
college career, Eugene got the opportunity to join the Gene Roddenberry's
Earth: Final Conflict television series as a Technical Advisor. For the
next four years, Eugene relocated to Toronto, Canada and gained production
experience, working with a brilliant cast and crew. He also came to
realize the difficulties and disappointments that come with the business
that is Hollywood. On top of a strong production foundation, Eugene gained
a new respect for his father's accomplishments and set a higher bar of
integrity for any future project that carries the Roddenberry name.
Since then, Eugene has
spoken at science fiction conventions around the world and hosted
worldwide forums on topics from literature to the future of space travel.
He has taken a position as a board member on the X Prize (a
private-sector, international space exploration competition), and
tirelessly works to bridge the gap between science and science fiction by
participating in efforts with NASA, JPL, The Planetary Society and The
Kennedy Space Center.
In 2001, upon returning to
Los Angeles, Eugene reopened the family merchandising business. He has
since expanded the company, creating Roddenberry Productions the promise
of which is to bring the Roddenberry Spirit and Ideals to people in new
forms, through new media. The organization pledges the development and
production of many multimedia projects including the completion of
Eugene's first independent documentary, "Trek Nation." As a
documentary about the positive influences of his father's work and how it
has impacted lives around the world, Eugene hopes that "Trek
Nation" will pay homage to the fans who have sustained his legacy and
the father who created it.
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