Today, June 28th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia remember one of the greatest writers in history: Mr. Rod Serling, who passed away on this day in 1975 at age 50.
Over the last four years working on the encyclopedia and producing this blog, I've come to appreciate Rod's work as being timeless and infinitely memorable. I know we study Twain, Fitzgerald, Dickens, Hemingway and Poe in school – and those authors produced amazing work – but I feel that by studying The Twilight Zone and the 92 Zone episodes that Rod Serling wrote, you get a much more timely body of work that this and future generations can relate to.
Am I being frivolous? I don't think so.
I also think that many people back in the 1950s and '60s appreciated what Rod was doing. He was a thinking man's writer at a time when the majority of the medium was witless. Rod – along with his peers Paddy Chayefsky and Reginald Rose - elevated television with careful thought and emotion. He was able to tap into the plight of every man and woman, bringing us stories that spoke deeply to the human condition. The great writers of today should always light a candle to the genius of Rod Serling, Writer.
So on this, the sad day of Rod Serling's passing, let's hoist a tall brew to the Christopher Columbus of The Twilight Zone. He brought us to the new world and left us a thought-provoking legacy that will entertain us forever.