Writer Profile: Margaret Armen

Writer Margaret Armen was the daughter of a naval officer and spent most of her time in Manila, Panama, Japan, and China, where she learned to speak the Mandarin language. She majored in English literature at the University of California at Berkeley, and then furthered her education at UCLA, receiving a bachelor’s degree in creative writing. She married in 1945 at age 22 and started a family. While raising children, Armen worked from home, writing newspaper articles, having numerous short stories published and, finally, breaking into TV.

Armen began her career in television the same year as Dorothy Fontana, and in the same genre – TV westerns…

…Armen said, ‘There was a great deal of discrimination against women at that time, and there were only a handful of us making a living at writing for TV. During the first season, Gene Roddenberry didn’t employ any women writers except for his secretary, D.C. Fontana. She wrote a script that was so good that Gene became receptive to women.’

Armen’s agent had approached Star Trek numerous times on behalf of his client before finally getting a response in March, 1967. The order for the second season had just come through. Roddenberry took Armen’s pitch while Gene Coon vacationed.

– from These Are The Voyages – TOS: Season 2 by Marc Cushman

Margaret Armen would go on to write three episodes of TOS (second only to D.C. Fontana in credits for women writers on TOS) and two TAS episodes.

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