Rod



Rod Serling was born in Syracuse, New York on December 25, 1924. On the day he graduated from high school in Binghamton, N.Y., he enlisted in the U.S Army 11th Airborne Division paratroopers. While there he began boxing, and ended up with an impressive 17-1 record. After his discharge in 1946, he enrolled at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. In 1948 he married Carolyn Louise Kramer.

On March 16, 1949 he was informed that his script, "To Live A Dream," had won second prize in an annual script contest given by Dr. Christian, a radio show specializing in amateur scripts. He also sold two scripts that year to Grand Central Station. The next year saw him selling his first television script, "Grady Everett For The People," to Stars Over Hollywood.

After graduating, Rod and Carol moved to Cincinatti. Rod got a job with WLW radio. In 1951 Rod decided to try freelance writing. He sold scripts to Hallmark Hall of Fame, Lux Video Theater, Kraft Television Theater, Suspense and Studio One. On March 17, 1956, Rod won an Emmy for "Patterns," a script produced by Kraft Television Theater.

On October 11, 1956, Playhouse 90 aired "Requiem For A Heavyweight." It won emmys for: best single show of the year; best teleplay; best director (Ralph Nelson); best single performance (Jack Palance); and best art direction (Albert Heschong). Rod was also awarded the Sylvania Award, the Television-Radio Writer's Annual Award for Writing Achievement and the George Foster Peabody Award.

After getting fed-up with the interference of sponsors, and the realization that live television was a dying art form, Serling decided to attempt a science fiction anthology series. So in 1957 Rod submitted "The Time Element," to CBS. After sitting on it for almost a year, "The Time Element" was aired as a Desilu Playhouse production. It was a tremendous hit, and convinced CBS to give "The Twilight Zone" a chance.

Now Serling needed a script. He had intended "The Time Element" to be the pilot episode of "The Twilight Zone", but now that was out of the question. He wrote a script called, "The Happy Place." In it, people in a future society who reach the age of sixty are sent to concentration camps, referred to as "The Happy Place," and killed. Serling was told this would never sell the series. He finally relented and wrote another script, "Where Is Everybody" that was submitted and accepted. The rest is television history.

Rod Serling died on June 28, 1975. His legacy however, lives on in The Twilight Zone!


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