Gene L. Coon

1924 - 1973

Often referred to as 'the forgotten Gene' (a reference to Gene Roddenberry), Gene Lee Coon was one of the most important creative minds behind Star Trek (1966). He is credited with inventing the Klingons and the 'Prime Directive', and with developing the interpersonal dynamics between Spock and McCoy (in particular, the invariably humorous verbal banter). He established the enlightened image of the Federation and often ended episodes with an anti-war allegory. A robust-looking, heavy-set man possessed of seemingly boundless creative energy, Coon was a prodigious reader and an immensely focused writer of prolific output. It was said, that he authored his novels and teleplays by assuming a state of near self-hypnosis, which he himself called 'automatic writing'. In one instance, he managed to produce the script for the Star Trek episode "The Devil in the Dark" in the course of a single weekend. Either as writer, or line producer, Coon had extensive, often critical input into some of the

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