Gene Roddenberry

American television screenwriter and producer (1921–1991)

Eugene Wesley "Gene" Roddenberry (August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991) was an American screenwriter and producer. He is best known as the creator of Star Trek, an American sci-fi series. He was sometimes called the "Great Bird of the Galaxy" because he helped start Star Trek. [1] He was one of the first people to have his ashes "buried" in space. [2]

Gene Roddenberry
Roddenberry in 1976
Eugene Wesley Roddenberry

(1921-08-19)August 19, 1921
DiedOctober 24, 1991(1991-10-24) (aged 70)
Occupation(s)Television producer and writer
Spouse(s)Eileen-Anita Rexroat (1942–1969)
Majel Barrett (1969–1991)

Personal life


Gene Roddenberry was born in El Paso, Texas in 1921. His parents were Eugene Edward Roddenberry and Caroline Glen. He grew up in Los Angeles, California, where his father worked in the police. He became interested in engineering and got a pilot's license. In 1941, he joined the United States Army Air Force. He flew many combat missions as a bomber pilot and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal. [3]

After he left the military, he became an airline pilot with Pan American World Airways. He then stopped flying in 1949 so he could write television shows. While writing he also worked in the police so he could provide for (look after) his family. In 1956, he quit his job as a policeman to write full time.

Roddenberry was married twice and had three children. He married Eileen Rexroat first, and they were married for 27 years. They had two daughters, Darlene (1947-1995) and Dawn (1953-). In the 1960s, he also started romantically seeing Nichelle Nichols [4] and Majel Barrett (1932-2008). He divorced Rexroat and married Barrett in Japan in a traditional Shinto ceremony on August 6, 1969. They had a son, Eugene Wesley, Jr. Roddenberry's marriage to Barrett lasted until his death in 1991.

He died in 1991 of heart failure. He was 70 years old. In 1992, some of his ashes were sent into space on board the Space Shuttle Columbia. In 2012, some more of his ashes will be sent into space with his wife Majel's ashes. [5]


  1. Biography of Gene Roddenberry Archived 2008-04-15 at the Wayback Machine - URL accessed 15 March, 2009
  2. The New York Times - "A Final Turn-On Lifts Timothy Leary Off" - URL accessed 15 March, 2009
  3. "SOLDIERS OF VISION: We Don't Stop When We Take off the Uniform" Archived 2009-03-03 at the Wayback Machine - URL accessed 15 March, 2009
  4. Nichelle Nichols, Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories, G.P. Putnam & Sons, New York, 1994.
  5. Ashes of 'Star Trek' Creator's Widow to Fly in Space - URL Accessed 15 March, 2009