Picture, if you will, an ordinary man, just like any other gifted student before the outbreak of [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the war]]. This man enlists to serve his country, but as a paratrooper, [[WarIsHell sees things]] [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters no man was meant to see]].

This man was Rodman Edward Serling (December 25, 1924 -- June 28, 1975).

Put through college on the GI Bill, this man becomes a well-known scriptwriter. But at night, in his dreams, the war revisits him. His visions become ever stranger, ever more disturbing. They drive him to create, and thrust himself into... ''The Twilight Zone''.
!!Created and [[{{Narrator}} narrated]]:
* ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'' (original 1959-64 version)
* ''Series/NightGallery'' (1970-73)

!!Also created:
* ''The Loner'' (short-lived CBS "Western" series, 1965-66)

!!Also narrated:
* The documentary series ''The Undersea World Of Creator/JacquesCousteau''
* The introduction of ''Film/PhantomOfTheParadise''.

!!Also hosted:
* The 1969 version of the GameShow ''Liars Club''

!!Writing credits include:
* ''Patterns'' (a 1955 episode of ''Kraft Television Theater'')
* ''Film/RequiemForAHeavyweight'' (originally a 1956 episode of ''Playhouse 90'', then a 1962 film)
* ''Literature/SevenDaysInMay'' (wrote the script for TheFilmOfTheBook) (1964)
* ''Literature/TheSeasonToBeWary'' (1967)
* The original draft of the 1968 ''Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes'' film
* Many, many early anthology series

!!Supplied the page quote on:
* Analysis.SpeculativeFiction

!!Tropes associated with Rod Serling include:

* AcceptableTargets: {{Invoked}}. While most of his villains are anti-villains or even somewhat likable Serling had no tolerance for Nazis, racists, and totalitarians.
* AlanSmithee: Serling wrote the pilot for ''The New People'' (which he did not create) under the name "John Phillips" because he objected to how the finished product turned out.
* AmbiguouslyJewish: While he was never particularly religious and converted to Unitarianism when he married, Serling kept and respected various Jewish traditions and felt a special connection to his works that involved Jews or the Holocaust.
* AntiHero: His heroes tended to have personal flaws.
* AuthorTract: His anti-war and liberal political views often influenced his work.
* DownerEnding[=/=]BittersweetEnding: His protagonists survive less often than they die in many of his stories.
* FairForItsDay[=/=]ValuesResonance: Many of his views come across as this today.
* SeventiesHair: The transition from the 1960's Twilight Zone into the 1970's Night Gallery saw Serling grow his hair out and adopt sideburns.
* ShellShockedVeteran: His service during World War Two led to him having nightmares.
* VillainProtagonist: Often used when he needed unsympathetic characters. Two episodes of ''The Twilight Zone'' even had a [[NaziProtagonist Nazi for a protagonist]].
* NightmareFuelStationAttendant: Practically embodies this trope, since he introduces and closes on every episode of the ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' and ''Series/NightGallery''.
->They say life is but a whisper, leaving just as quickly as it arrives. This man was killed not by machines of humanity, nor by acts of nature, nor by seeking seclusion within the recesses and infinities of his mind...but by a faulty heart, which removed him from the coil of mortality while men of medicine tried valiantly to keep him from that fate.

->Since the twenty-eighth day of June in the year nineteen hundred and seventy-five, this man has led a new life inside the world he created. He takes pride in those who [[FanFic tell new tales]], and by request will walk into the spotlight to give an appropriate spiel at each beginning and end.

->Rodman Edward Serling, a man who cannot leave his own little world yet takes this fact as comfort, living out a pleasant eternity...in ''The Twilight Zone''.