Convention Pioneer Joan Winston Has Passed Away

TrekMovie has been informed that Joan ("Joannie") Winston, one of the founders of the first Star Trek conventions and author of "The Making of the Star Trek Conventions," passed away September 11th at age 77. According to her family, Joan died in her sleep at an assisted living center in New York.


Joan Winston’s contributions to Star Trek fandom are legion. She was one of the organizers (aka "The Committe") of the original Trek conventions during the 1970s, the story of which is chronicled in her excellent 1977 book "The Making of the Trek Conventions." Winston was also a co-writer of the classic 1975 text "Star Trek Lives!" where she wrote about her visit to the Star Trek set during the filming of the episode "Turnabout Intruder." Winston also wrote fan fiction and even edited a fanzine ("Number One") all about William Riker. Winston continued attending and speaking at conventions into this decade, with her last appearance at Shore Leave in 2006. Winston was featured in the 2005 documentary Trekkies 2. In 2007, she was named the 4th most influential Star Trek fan of all time by

Winston’s book on conventions

Winston, who at the time worked for CBS and ABC was instrumental in introducing the main cast and crew of Star Trek to the notion of attending the world of conventions. Winston was a key source for William Shatner’s 1999 book on Trek fans and conventions, "Get a Life!" In the book Shatner describes Winston as "bright, bubbly, and energetic beyond every law of human physiology and comprehension," and Shatner goes on to thank Winston for "finally opening my eyes about Star Trek conventions and fans." About these early conventions, Winston is quoted by Shatner as saying:

There were people who found a friend, that was the most important – (starts to get emotional). Now, I’m getting all – because all the really good friends I’ve ever made came through Star Trek. I’ve also seen handicapped people and people who are socially challenged literally turn their lives around because of the love and acceptance and friendship they’ve found at the conventions.

This week, the Star Trek community has lost a friend. Winston was a pioneer who helped shaped Star Trek fandom. Thanks, Joan, and we’ll miss you. To learn more about Joan and her contribution to Trek fandom, both her "The Making of Star Trek Conventions" book as well as Shatner’s "Get A Life!" are highly recommended.

Services for Joan will be held Sunday September 14th, 2008 at the Plaza Funeral Home located at 630 Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan at 9:30am and fans are invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale located at 5901 Palisade Avenue, Bronx , NY 10471, who cared for her in her final months.

Winston from "Trekkies 2′


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RIP. :(

Wow. She had a vision, indeed.

She boldly went.

My feelings and thoughts go out to her family and friend. I’ve known the name Joan Winston almost as long as I’ve been a fan (since the mid-1970s). I’ve read “Star Trek Lives!” countless times through the years.

I love the Shatner quote about her; it shows the kind of fan she was, and more importantly, the kind of person.

My sympathies to all those who knew her–and to all of us who only knew her words. Thank you, Joan!!

God’s Speed Ms. Winston. We are all in your debt.

I’m sorry to hear this. I met Joan in 1980 and though we never got to know one another well we ran into each another at several conventions and lunched a couple of times over the years. She was an urbane and humorous person.

My thoughts are with her family, friends and those who were close to her.

Oops…tiny mistake in that last message…I meant to her “friends” (plural), not “friend” (singular). (I’m sure at least ONE of you out there would nitpick…hehe)

Thank, Ms. Winston, for getting the ball rolling.

We’ll miss you Joan!

Thanks for all that you did for fandom!

It is a sad day indeed. I had the fortune to have met Ms. Winston on several occasions back in the 70’s. She was a truly remarkable person.

Joan, you will be missed.

Thank you for the article, John. It is difficult to imagine ST fandom without its enormously fun and exciting conventions. We owe a debt to Joan Winston for her hard work and vision.

With tremendous respect and gratitude for all Ms. Winston started in the world of fandom,

Thank You,


Wow, this is sad news, she was so young. 77 is not that old. She will be missed.

2nd star on the right and straight on til morning, Ms. Winston. Godspeed.

“Joannie will stand in the Continuum for Us , to speak of hope of the future” .. God speed Joannie Winston ….

She was a delightful and classy lady. We’ve lost too many this year from that generation that was there at the beginning. Very sad news.

This has been one costly year for TOS.

I guess they were having trouble organizing that big con up there, so Joannie got the nod.

Godspeed Joannie and your achievements are the Katra that you leave with us so that we remember.

Trek Lives and so does her spirit !

You have to wonder where Star Trek would be without her contribution. It’s not like every show on television was having conventions.

I got her book in the 70s. What an amazing person.

I cannot recall a time when I did not hear her name or feel the effects of her dedicatio to a work of fiction. Happiness to her as she moves into the next realm….

Say hi to the Great Bird of the Galaxy for us…

Sad. Her lively accounts in “Star Trek Lives” of her week on the TOS set and the first ST convention are fun ‘must-reads’ for every Trek fan. She’ll be missed.

Way to Go John and TrekMovie for reporting on the passing of Joan. It’s great to see a site like yours remember someone who truly made a impact in the world of Star Trek.

Thanks for the post!

Little by little we are losing the original people that made Star Trek such a wonderful thing. It’s quite sad.

My thoughts go to her family and friends.

Sorry to hear this. I enjoyed the 70’s Trek conventions immensely. They were all about love for the show. Her book is the best on conventions and takes you into every aspect of their production.

so true #25 ^
so sad…..
bye bye Joan….
thank you

We owe much to the original generation of fans, best personified in Joannie Winston.

I fully expect that in historical terms Trek’s notable impact won’t be the show itself as much as the cultural phenomena and possibilities it engendered. The true legacy of Star Trek will be the empowerment of fandom.

The fact that you can find the word Trekkie in the dictionary is owed as much to Joannie Winston as Gene Roddenberry.

Memorial tributes to Joanie Winston can be read and posted on the Sime~Gen website, co-owned by her co-author, Jacqueline Lichtenberg. We at Sime~Gen invite you to visit:

from such examples mr JJ should pay attention…………

A heartfelt “thank you” for all she has done. Star Trek Lives was the very first Trek book I ever owned and I devoured it when I first got it from cover to cover. While Trek can go on forever in different incarnations, it will never see the likes of dedicated fans like Joan Winston again. My prayers are with her family, may she rest in peace.

My condolences to the Winston family. I met this gracious, caring, funny lady at the first con in NYC in ’71. She and a few others boldly went where no fan had gone before. Gae gazint, through the Guardian and into the Multiverse, Joan — You’re not really gone as long as we remember you.

I could NOT read all these lovely comments without crying my head off!

I’ve posted to Joanie’s NTTimes Guestbook on

I hope everyone will sign in at that Guestbook.

And of course I’ve posted to the site where the eulogy delivered at the funeral by Anne Pinzow is posted, quoting a lot of people.

Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Co-Author of Star Trek Lives!

I’m very sad to hear this. She encouraged me to write back in the early 1990s. She read an old, long since lost manuscript of mine, and called me up. We spent hours on the phone talking about Trek for a number of weeks. I’m sad I never got to meet her in person.

To paraphrase Captain Kirk….
“As much to the crew of the Enterprise, I owe you my thanks.”

Rest in peace, Joan. Your passion and devotion saved Star Trek —
changed lives– and made history.

Please note that the image used on this Trek Movie site is NOT Joan Winston by consensus of her many friends and STAR TREK LIVES, co-author Jacqueline Lichtenberg.

A website has been made in Joan’s honor since this past April, and we welcome contributions to it. If the Trek Movie site owners want a photo of Joan, because what you posted is NOT her, I will be glad to provide it.

Karen L. MacLeod
Freelance Editor — Joan’s friend for more than 20 years