Rodman Edward "Rod" Serling (December 25, 1924 – June 28, 1975) was an American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, and narrator known for his live television dramas of the 1950s and his science-fiction anthology TV series, The Twilight Zone. Serling was active in politics, both on and off the screen, and helped form television industry standards. He was known as the "angry young man" of Hollywood, clashing with television executives and sponsors over a wide range of issues including censorship, racism, and war.
On May 3, 1975, Serling had a minor heart attack and was hospitalized. He spent two weeks at Tompkins County Community Hospital before being released. A second heart attack two weeks later forced doctors to agree that open-heart surgery, though considered risky at the time, was in order. The ten-hour-long procedure was carried out on June 26, but Serling had a third heart attack on the operating table and died two days later at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York. He was 50 years old. His funeral took place on July 2.
A memorial was held in Cornell University's Sage Chapel on July 7, 1975. Speakers at the Memorial included his daughter Anne and the Reverend John F. Hayward.