Was avidly into tennis and ping-pong.
As a writer, his influences included H.G. Wells, Norman Corwin, Ernst Hemingway, Edgar Allen Poe, Edward R Murrow and H.P. Lovecraft.
His older brother was the novelist Robert Jerome Serling who wrote a lot of biographical information on aviation.
While working on "The Twilight Zone" with such a busy schedule, he usually dictated his scripts into a tape recorder and had his secretary type them up.
Rod actually ranked #1 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Greatest Sci-Fi Legends" (1 August 2004 issue), the only real person on the list. All the others are TV show characters. This is odd as his show "The Twilight Zone" dealt primarily more with fantasy and the supernatural rather than science-fiction.
While in the military, he fought in the Golden Gloves competition. He won all but his championship fight.
When his teleplay for "A Storm In The Summer" was re-made in 2000, he garnered a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for "Outstanding Writing in a Children's Special" and a Writers Guild Award for "Best Children's Script" despite having been dead for the last twenty-five years. It was one many post-humorous honors for the late Serling.
Among the many honors he received in his career were five Emmy wins out of nine nominations, a Peabody Award, a Golden Globe Award, two Writers Guild Awards and three Hugo Awards out of four nominations. He's also received a Star of The Walk of Fame for Television.
He was buried with full Military honors.
Rod Serling Quotes
"Hollywood's a great place to live... if you're a grapefruit."
"Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull."
"It may be said with a degree of assurance that not everything that meets the eye is as it appears."
"There are weapons that are simply thoughts. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy."
"Some people possess talent, others are possessed by it. When that happens, a talent becomes a curse."
"If you need drugs to be a good writer, you're not a good writer."
(on being born Christmas day): "I was a Christmas present that was delivered unwrapped."
"I think the destiny of all men is not to sit in the rubble of their own making but to reach out for an ultimate perfection which is to be had. At the moment, it is a dream. But as of the moment we clasp hands with our neighbor, we build the first span to bridge the gap between the young and the old. At this hour, it’s a wish. But we have it within our power to make it a reality. If you want to prove that God is not dead, first prove that man is alive."
"It is said that science fiction and fantasy are two different things. Science fiction is the improbable made possible, and fantasy is the impossible made probable."