The world lost prominent people in the entertainment industry and one of them is notable science fiction author and screenwriter George Clayton Johnson. He passed away on Dec. 25, after battling bladder and prostate cancer. Johnson is survived by his wife of 63 years, Lola; their son, Paul; and daughter, Judy.

Johnson has a number of well-known writing projects, including the very first aired episode of "Star Trek," several episodes of the "Twilight Zone" and the original novel which the 1960 film "Ocean's 11" and 2001 "Ocean's 11" remade.

The author definitely made a significant contribution to the science fiction genre and he loved his work so much that, according to his literary manager Whitt Brantley, he was developing a sequel to "Logan's Run," one of his most notable works which he co-wrote with William F. Nolan, prior to his passing.

Let us take a look back and pay homage to Johnson's life and contribution in the entertainment industry.

Early Years

George Clayton Johnson was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1929. He attended school until eighth grade before he stopped schooling. In 1946, he decided to join the United States army as a telegraph operator and draftsman, attempted to go back to school and continue his studies but quit again. He did not begin his writing career until 13 years later, in 1959.

Writing Career

The year 1959 gave Johnson a new opportunity when his story titled "I'll Take Care of You" was adapted for the small screen to be featured in "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," one of Time Magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All Time." The stories he wrote afterwards were published in several magazines including "The Twilight Zone Magazine."

His big break, however, came in 1960, when not only did he sell his story, "All of Us are Dying," to Rod Serling, the same story was adapted for the "Twilight Zone" television series as its 13th episode, though renamed to "The Four of Us are Dying." The story is about Arch Hammer, a con man who can change his face at will, and follows the events that led to his death using his ability. Hammer is played by Harry Townes.

From there, Johnson penned and sold seven more stories to Rod Serling and, while five made it to the small screen, one in particular, "Kick the Can," was also featured in the 1983 film adaptation of "The Twilight Zone" while another was not used at all, though he later adapted it himself for his comic book series.

On the same year, Johnson also co-wrote "Ocean's 11" with Jack Golden Russell.

"Logan's Run," the novel, came out in 1967 and was adapted as a film in 1976. The story tells of a dystopian community where young adults are entitled to live as they pleased but must be killed off by age 21 to prevent overpopulation. The film adaptation raised the age of execution to 30 years old.

For a different dimension, Johnson moved to space. In 1966, Johnson's "The Man Trap" was adapted as the first episode of the hit science fiction television series, "Star Trek."

He continued his writing career throughout the years and enjoyed attending comic conventions where he showed up with his signature long hair and colorful clothes to complete his hippie look.


The novel "Logan's Run" was nominated for the Nebula Award and Hugo Award in 1976 and 1977, respectively, and Johnson was presented the lifetime achievement award in 1976 by the Inkpot Awards for his contribution as a screenwriter and comic book writer.

Pay homage to George Clayton Johnson in your own way by joining in Syfy's "The Twilight Zone New Year's Eve Marathon" or watch his 10 part interview beginning with the video below.

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