Don Ingalls

For the American football player, see Donald Robert Ingalls.
Don Ingalls
Born Donald G. Ingalls
(1918-07-29)July 29, 1918
Humboldt, Nebraska
Died March 10, 2014(2014-03-10) (aged 95)
Olympia, Washington
Nationality American
Occupation Screenwriter and producer
Known for Star Trek, Fantasy Island, T.J. Hooker

Donald G. Ingalls (July 29, 1918 – March 10, 2014) was an American screenwriter and television producer. He was a lifelong friend of Gene Roddenberry, having served in the Los Angeles Police Department with him.

Early life

Don Ingalls was born in Humboldt, Nebraska on July 29, 1918.[1] During the Second World War, Ingalls was in the United States Army Air Forces as a pilot. He was stationed in Europe, flying Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses.[2] Following the war, he subsequently became a test pilot for North American Aviation.[1]

Ingalls became a police officer and worked under Chief William H. Parker in the Los Angeles Police Department within the Public Information department. It was in the police that he met lifelong friend Gene Roddenberry for the first time, and both of them transitioned from the Newspaper Unit within the Traffic Department to the new section when Parker was made chief. The pair shared a common background, both of them having been B-17 pilots during the war.[3] During this time, they worked from a single office on the 27th floor of the Los Angeles City Hall.[2] The duo shared a desire to become writers, with Ingalls being the first between them to resign from the LAPD to pursue this.[4]

Screenwriting career

Roddenberry and Ingalls drifted apart following the latter's resignation, but reunited early on in their writing careers. Roddenberry was initially the more successful of the two, and recommended Ingalls as story editor to Sam Rolfe on the television series Have Gun – Will Travel.[5] He would also continue to recommend Ingalls for other screenwriting jobs around the same time,[6] while Ingalls went on to become an associate producer at Have Gun – Will Travel.[1] When Roddenberry began to develop Star Trek, he sent Ingalls a series outline but asked him to keep it "very, very confidential".[7]

Ingalls went on to write two scripts for Star Trek, his first being "The Alternative Factor". His second script, "A Private Little War", was intended to be a criticism piece on the Vietnam War, but was heavily re-written by Roddenberry to the extent that Ingalls was angry at him for a year and insisted on being credited only under the pseudonym "Judd Crucis".[8]

He wrote episodes for a variety of television series, and was a producer on shows such as Fantasy Island, T.J. Hooker and Kingston: Confidential. Ingalls also wrote a handful of television movies such as the 1979 Captain America film. He has a single theatrical film credit, Airport 1975 (1974). His final work was the 2005 novel, Watchers on the Mountain, a fictional work about the Navajo Nation.[1]


He died in 2014 after a long illness at his home in Olympia, Washington.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Lentz, III 2015, p. 169.
  2. 1 2 Alexander 1995, p. 114.
  3. Alexander 1995, pp. 107–108.
  4. Alexander 1995, p. 142.
  5. Alexander 1995, pp. 143–144.
  6. Alexander 1995, p. 157.
  7. Alexander 1995, p. 199.
  8. Alexander 1995, pp. 289–230.


  • Alexander, David (1995). Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry. New York: Roc. ISBN 0-451-45440-5. 
  • Lentz, III, Harris M. (2015). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2014. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-1-476-61961-3. 

External links

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