August 19th is the day Eugene Wesley Roddenberry was born. Today would mark his 93rd birthday. Sadly, as we Trek fans well know, he died in October 1991 at the age of 70.
Roddenberry served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, and then came home to become a Los Angeles police officer from 1949 – 1956. He decided to make a go of a career in show business writing for TV. Most famously (before Star Trek) writing many episodes of the long running popular western Have Gun — Will Travel. And then of course in 1964 he pitched the pilot for Star Trek (later titled”The Cage”) to NBC, and while they didn’t like that pilot, he was allowed to retool the show and shoot another pilot, the rest is Trek history.
In related news, the documentary The Gene “STAR TREK” Roddenberry Project Kickstarter has been fully funded. This is an interview that was originally recorded in 1985 one-on-one with Roddenberry, but the footage ended up being cut for time from the documentary special it was part of and stuck in a vault until 2012.