Twilight Zone creator and host Edward Rodman Serling (1924-1975) was born on this day and raised in Binghamton, New York.
He humorously called himself "a Christmas present that was delivered unwrapped." The son of a butcher, he joined the Army after high school and was a paratrooper in World War II.
"There is nothing in the dark that isn't there when the lights are on," he once said.
In 1951, he left what he called a "dreamless job" to take a chance as a free-lance television writer. In 1959, the first of 156 episodes of The Twilight Zone aired on CBS.
The series welcomed viewers into "the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition" which lay "between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge." Over the next five years, the prolific Serling would craft 92 screenplays for the show.
"Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull," he explained. A master of the surprise ending, Serling sought higher standards for television writing.
In battling censorship, he discovered the power of science fiction and fantasy. "I found that it was all right to have Martians saying things Democrats and Republicans could never say," he explained.
For his dramatic writing, Serling won a gallery of kudos-- six Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, Hugo Awards, and Sylvania Awards.
"You unlock the door with the key of imagination," he said.
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