Television Program Producer, Screenwriter. He created the 1960s "Star Trek" science fiction television series, which spawned a franchise that has come to include motion pictures, books, novels, action figures, and a number of further television series, as well as a widespread, loyal fandom. Born in El Paso, Texas, he almost died at the age of four when his house caught fire in the middle of the night. Fortunately, a milkman came along and woke the family in time to escape. During World War II, he piloted a B-17E Flying Fortress in the Army Air Corps, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal for his service. After the war he found work as a pilot for Pan American Airlines, and was awarded a Civil Aeronautics commendation for his rescue efforts in a June 1947 Syrian desert plane crash. From 1949 to 1956, he was a police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, and began to write television scripts to supplement his income. His first television script, written in 1953, was an episode "Defense Plant Gambling" written for the show "Mr. District Attorney" and was broadcast on 2 March 1954. His first science-fiction script was "The Secret Weapon of 117," broadcast on 6 March 1956 on the "Chevron Hall of Stars." He wrote episodes for such television shows as The Fireside Theater, Dr. Christian, Have Gun Will Travel, Boots and Saddles, Naked City, Bat Masterson, Dr. Kildare, and The Lieutenant. In 1965, he wrote "The Cage" which became the pilot for the original series "Star Trek", and it was soon picked up as a full time series. He also wrote the episodes "Charlie X", "Miri," and "Where No Man Has Gone Before." He was married to Eileen Anita Rexroat on 20 June 1942, and divorced her on 27 December 1969 to marry his second and last wife, Majel Barrett, two days later. Actually, he and Majel were married in a Shinto Buddhist wedding on August 6, 1969 while they were visiting Japan (they did not adhere to any specific religion). Since his divorce was not yet final, they remarried in a civil ceremony on 29 December 1969 in California. Majel was an actress that he met on the pilot of his first Star Trek episode, "The Cage" (1965) and later, became familiar to Trek fans as Nurse Chapel (original series) and as the voice of the ship's computer (her voice is heard in almost every episode of every series, ranging from the original Star Trek, to ST: The Next Generation, to ST: Deep Space Nine, and ST: Voyager, as well as every ST movie). During World War II, he had a friend named Kim Noonien Singh and after the war, he lost track of his friend. Gene then used the name for some of the characters in the series, Khan Noonien Singh for the movie Star Trek II, and Noonien Soong in ST: The Next Generation, hoping that his friend would contact him; he never did. Gene Roddenberry has a building named for him on the Paramount Studio lot.