A master of suspense and the bizarre, Rod Serling is best remembered for his groundbreaking sci-fi television anthology series The Twilight Zone (1959-1965). Born in Syracuse, NY, the son of a wholesale meat dealer, Serling had a life-long interest in science fiction and the supernatural. During WWII, he served as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army 11th Airborne Division. While in the military, Serling was also a noted boxer. Following an honorable discharge in 1946, the result of a shrapnel wound, he attended Antioch College and majored in physical education and then literature. While there, he began writing, directing, and acting in locally produced radio plays. In 1949, he sold his first television script, "Grady Everett for the People." He came to Hollywood to write teleplays full-time in the mid-'50s. Early on, Serling was noted for his intelligent and offbeat scripts. His teleplay Patterns earned him his first of five Emmys. With the Twilight Zone, Serling served as the host and oversaw each of the two stories presented per episode. He wrote many of the stories himself, most of which were known for their ironic twists. Serling also wrote a few screenplays, including Planet of the Apes (1968). Later, he returned to television to launch other anthology series such as Rod Serling's Night Gallery. He also was noted as the distinctive narrator of the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau documentaries. In addition to his television career, Serling often did cross-country college campus lectures and for a time was a professor at Antioch College. He died in 1975 during open-heart surgery.
by Sandra Brennan biography