Eugene Wesley "Gene" Roddenberry was an American television screenwriter and producer. He is best known for creating the original Star Trek television series and thus the Star Trek science fiction franchise. Born in El Paso, Texas, Roddenberry grew up in Los Angeles, California where his father worked as a police officer. Roddenberry flew 89 combat missions in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II, and worked as a commercial pilot after the war. He later followed in his father's footsteps, joining the Los Angeles Police Department to provide for his family, but began focusing on writing scripts for television.
As a freelance writer, Roddenberry wrote scripts for Highway Patrol, Have Gun–Will Travel, and other series, before creating and producing his own television program, The Lieutenant. In 1964, Roddenberry created Star Trek, which premiered in 1966 and ran for three seasons before being canceled. Syndication of Star Trek led to increasing popularity, and Roddenberry continued to create, produce, and consult on the Star Trek films and the television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation until his death. Roddenberry received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2007 and by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. Years after his death, Roddenberry was one of the first humans to have his ashes "buried" in outer space.