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 Rod Serling

Rod Serling

Original Name Rodman Edward
Birth
Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York, USA
Death 28 Jun 1975 (aged 50)
Rochester, Monroe County, New York, USA
Burial Interlaken, Seneca County, New York, USA
Plot Lot G, Plot 1044
Memorial ID 1669 · View Source
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Screen Writer and Producer. He is best remembered for the television series, "The Twilight Zone" and "Night Gallery." Born Rodman Edward Serling, the second of two sons in Syracuse, New York, to Samuel and Esther Serling, he was raised in Binghamton, New York, graduating from Binghamton High School. During World War II, at age 19, he joined the Army, serving from January 1943 to January 1946, and attained the rank of Technician 5th Class, where he was trained as a Demolition Specialist. He also became a paratrooper, and served in the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 11th Airborne Division. Although he was short, only 5 feet, 4 inches tall, he was a noted boxer on his regimental sports team. While fighting the Japanese in the Philippines, he was seriously wounded in the wrist and knee, and was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Infantryman's Badge, among many decorations. Due to his wartime experiences, he would later suffer from nightmare flashbacks for the rest of his life. At the end of the war, he was discharged and entered Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, on the G.I. Bill, where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Literature in 1950. He married his life-long wife, Carol, on July 31,1948; they would have two children. Following graduation, Serling took a staff writer job with WLW Radio in Cincinnati, Ohio. A life-long chain smoker, Serling often smoked as many as five or more packs of cigarettes a day. In 1951, Serling moved on to television, writing scripts for Fireside Theater, the Hallmark Hall of Fame, Kraft Television Theater, and similar shows. In 1955, he wrote a play "Patterns" for Kraft Television Theater, and it became so popular that it was presented for a second time the following week, the first such show to be run twice consecutively, and made Serling noted by television moguls. Serling also wrote "The Rack" and "Requiem for a Heavyweight;" both shows noted as perhaps the best of television drama. In 1959, Serling began a series for CBS television called "The Twilight Zone," in which Serling would introduce each episode. Fighting the television producers for artistic control, Serling won, giving him an opportunity to provide social messages in a science fiction setting. The show proved to be an instant hit, and ran for five seasons. Of the 156 episodes, Serling personally wrote 92 of them. In 1970, NBC picked up Serling's follow on series, Night Gallery, an hour-long show that ran three tales during each show. Serling would write nearly one-third of the shows for Night Gallery during its three year run. After that, Serling's stories from the Twilight Zone and from Night Gallery were published in book form as "The Season to be Wary" (1968). In his later years, Serling wrote screenplays for movies, including "Seven Days in May" (1964), a movie about an attempted military coup against the President of the US, "Planet of the Apes" (1968), and "The Man" (1972), a movie about the first Black US President. In 1975, he suffered two heart attacks before he entered a Rochester hospital for heart bypass surgery. During the operation, he suffered another heart attack, and died the next day. His life long smoking habit was considered a likely cause of his death. During his long writing life, Serling had earned six Emmys for his work. About his life's work, Serling once said, "If you need drugs to be a good writer, you are not a good writer."

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson


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Rodman E. Serling
TEC 5 US Army
World War II


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1669
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rod Serling (25 Dec 1924–28 Jun 1975), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1669, citing Lake View Cemetery, Interlaken, Seneca County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .