Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991) was a television writer and producer most famous for creating the Star Trek franchise. A native of El Paso, Roddenberry moved to Los Angeles after having served as an Air Force captain in World War II and as a commercial pilot for Pan-Am. He began writing for TV in the 1950s while working as an officer for the LAPD. Twenty-three years after his death, Star Trek remains one of the world's most successful sci-fi brands. 

"Star Trek speaks to some basic human needs: that there is a tomorrow — it's not all going to be over with a big flash and a bomb; that the human race is improving; that we have things to be proud of as humans. No, ancient astronauts did not build the pyramids — human beings built them, because they're clever and they work hard. And Star Trek is about those things."

-Gene Roddenberry (Interview from 20 September 1988, included in Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 5, DVD 7, "Mission Logs: Year Five", "A Tribute to Gene Roddenberry", 0:26:09) [h/t WikiQuote]