While many know Gene Roddenberry as the creator of “Star Trek,” before that he was a hero.
The Oatmeal has released a new comic strip paying tribute to the late producer, focusing on a a time in his life when he was a pilot for Pan-Am and the flight he was co-piloting went down. As the strip tells it, Roddenberry went to sit next to a passenger as the plane went down to comfort her and tell her everything would be alright.
After the plane crashed — killing 14 people — Roddenberry then helped injured passengers escape the flames that had overtaken the wreckage. After the survivors split into two groups, Roddenberry’s group located a village and used a radio to call for help.
As the story goes, shortly after the crash he resigned from Pan-Am and decided to pursue a career writing TV, eventually creating “Star Trek.”
In the aftermath of the crash, Roddenberry also took a job with the Los Angeles Police Department which led to his first TV credit — as technical advisor on the series “Mr. District Attorney.” He then went on to write for the series under the pseudonym Robert Wesley before changing his career entirely.