James Benjamin Blish was born on May 23, 1921 in East Orange, N.J. Blish trained as a biologist at Rutgers and Columbia University, and spent 1942 - 1944 as a medical technician in the United States Army. After the war he became the science editor for the Pfizer pharmaceutical company. His first published story appeared in 1940, and his writing career progressed until he gave up his job to become a professional writer. From 1962 to 1968, he worked for the Tobacco Institute. Between 1967 and his death from lung cancer in 1975, Blish wrote authorized short story collections based upon the 1960s TV series Star Trek. He wrote 11 volumes adapting episodes of the series. He died midway through writing Star Trek 12. Perhaps Blish's most famous works were the "Okies" stories, known collectively as Cities in Flight, published in the science-fiction digest magazine Astounding Science Fiction. Some of James Blish's other works include The Vanished Jet, And All the Stars a Stage, The Quincunx of Time, and Flight of Eagles.