Happy birthday to the Great Bird of the Galaxy, Gene Roddenberry


If you’re reading this, you’re well aware of Gene Roddenberry and his contributions to science fiction. Today is the Star Trek creator’s birthday.

In the early 1960’s, Eugene Wesley Roddenberry had a vision of the future. This vision, in the form of Star Trek, was not only an idealized version of the future, but it helped shape the very future of the real world.

96 years ago today, Gene Roddenberry was born in El Paso, Texas. Born on August 19th, 1921, Roddenberry’s “Wagon Train to the Stars”, has spawned six small-screen incarnations of Star Trek (including the animated series) with a seventh on the way in the form of Star Trek: Discovery, launching on September 24th.

The franchise has had 13 movies, countless video games and novels, and has had a social impact that Roddenberry himself could never have dreamed in the earliest foundational days of conceiving this show.

His plan to put women (and women of color!) in positions of authority and influence at a time when such a thing was unthinkable worked, and if you doubt that, you can ask Mae Jemison. She was the first African-American woman in space, who was influenced as a young girl to become a scientist. She was influenced by Lieutenant Uhura.

In the face of such successes, it sure makes things like having a space shuttle named after the USS Enterprise pale in comparison, which is a pretty incredible accomplishment in its own right.

Next: Discovery is set to arrive at the perfect time

Star Trek was lightly appreciated in its time during the run of the original series, and not until its absence from the air waves was its impact truly known, but Gene Roddenberry will live on forever for believing in his vision of a better future and a united humanity, free of prejudice and hate.