Eugene Wesley "Gene" Roddenberry (August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991) was an American television screenwriter, producer, de facto populistic philosopher, satirist, and futurist. He is best remembered for having created the original Star Trek television series and thus the Star Trek science-fiction franchise. Born in El Paso, Texas, Roddenberry grew up in Los Angeles, California where his father worked as a police officer. Roddenberry flew 89 combat missions in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II, and worked as a commercial pilot after the war. Later he followed in his father's footsteps and joined the Los Angeles Police Department to provide for his family, but began to focus on writing scripts for television.As a freelance writer, Roddenberry wrote scripts for Highway Patrol, Have Gun–Will Travel, and other series, before creating and producing his own television series The Lieutenant. In 1964, Roddenberry created Star Trek, which premiered in 1966 and ran for three seasons before being canceled. Syndication of Star Trek led to increasing popularity, and Roddenberry continued to create, produce, and consult on the Star Trek films and the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation until his death. In 1985 he became the first TV writer with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and he was later inducted by both the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. Years after his death, Roddenberry was one of the first humans to have his ashes carried into space.The Star Trek franchise created by Roddenberry has produced story material for almost five decades; resulting in six television series consisting of 726 episodes, and twelve feature films. A thirteenth film is in production, and is expected to be released in 2016. Additionally, the popularity of the Star Trek universe and films inspired films, books, video games, and fan films set in the various "eras" of the Star Trek universe.