He was a producer/writer Hollywood-type from the 1960s.
I credit him with the negative stereotypes that might come to mind.
I credit him with the idea of Star Trek.
I credit him with assembling others who made Star Trek the legend it is.
I believe directors, producers, writers, actors, other cast and crew and even the fans did more to make Star Trek special than Gene ever did own his own (granted, he is only one man)
I don't know how much Star Trek meant to Gene personally. Yes, he created it. He also created Earth II and The Questor Tapes, The Lieutenant, lots of other ideas and scripts. Why Star Trek? I suspect because of us.
If the fans hadn't been clamoring for more ST, if the popularity hadn't risen dramatically in the 70s, how important would ST have been to Gene?
If it was up to him alone, would ST be as near-and-dear to his heart as "The Lieutenant"? Or just another project he worked on decades ago?
The fans obsessed on ST, venerated Gene as the creator, and he accepted it and went along with it.
If the fan demand wasn't there and the whole popular movement lacking, how high and how long would Gene have carried the ST banner on his own, proclaiming it something special and important?
It's easy to go along for the ride when everyone is carrying him on their shoulders. On his own, what would Gene have done with ST?