Gene Roddenberry

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.

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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.

Posted by:Chris E. Hayner

Chris E. Hayner is equal parts nerd, crazy person and coffee. He watches too much TV, knows more about pro wrestling than you do and remembers every single show from the TGIF lineup. You may have seen him as a pro-shark protester in "Sharknado 3." His eventual memoir will be called "You're Wrong, Here's Why..." TV words to live by: "I'm a firm believer that sometimes it's right to do the wrong thing."