Meet a famous Iowan: James Tiberius Kirk

Anton Yelchin and Chris Pine in
Anton Yelchin and Chris Pine in "Star Trek Beyond." (Kimberly French/Paramount Pictures)

He’s known the world over — and in worlds we’ve yet to discover — and he hasn’t even been born yet. James Tiberius Kirk, better known as Captain Kirk, is likely the most famous fictional Iowan.

A character from “Star Trek,” which is set in the future, Kirk’s birth date was March 22, 2233, born on a shuttle leaving the doomed starship USS Kelvin, and was raised in Riverside, Iowa. His parents are George and Winona Kirk, who named him after his mother’s father, Jim, and his father’s father, Tiberius.

A troubled kid who got into fights, Kirk joined the Starfleet Academy in 2250 at age 17 and was assigned the rank of ensign, according to the Star Trek website. Upon graduation in 2254, he became a lieutenant.

Ten years later, he became the youngest person promoted to Starfleet captain, and was placed in command of the USS Enterprise for a five-year mission “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

At the end of this assignment in 2269, he was promoted to admiral, in charge of fleet operations at Earth. In 2286 however, he was demoted back to captain, after being convicted of stealing the Enterprise a year earlier, to bring back time-traveling whales to save Earth.

He continued exploring new worlds, and died in action in 2293.

Hometown: Riverside

Fun fact: Although his birth isn’t technically for another 213 years, Riverside has a stone marker you can visit that declares the town as Kirk’s “future birthplace.” The town also has an annual TrekFest, which celebrates all things “Star Trek.”



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