(Played by William Shatner)
STARFLEET HISTORICAL FILE: Kirk, James T.
Mid-level Biography Brief Mode
Final Rank: Captain
Full Name: James Tiberius Kirk
Date of birth: March 22, 2233
Place of birth: Riverside, Iowa, Earth
Education: Starfleet Academy, 2250-2254
Marital status: Single
Children: One son, David Marcus (2261-2286)
Date of death: 2293/2371*
Place of death: Enterprise-B in Nexus/Veridian III*
Serial number: SC937-0176 CEC
Quarters: On original Enterprise, Deck 5; on refit/1701-A, Deck 5/Room 0195
Starfleet Career Summary
2250 — As a first-year Academy student with ensign rank, assigned to U.S.S. Republic NCC-1371
2264 — Promoted to captain, in command of U.S.S. Enterprise for five-year mission
2266 — Exonerated in wrongful death charge of Ben Finney, first captain ever to stand trial
2269 — Returned from five-year mission; promoted to admiral in charge of fleet operations at Earth
2277 — Accepts appointment to Academy faculty, moves into San Francisco apartment
2286 — Charged, convicted and reduced permanently to captain's rank by the Federation Council for theft of Enterprise a year earlier, after saving Earth from alien onslaught by securing two extinct whales via time-traveling; given command of U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-A
2287 — Explores center of the galaxy with Enterprise-A hijacked by Sybok
2293* — Spearheads initiatives leading to Khitomer Accords and exposes anti-peace conspiracy in Starfleet and Klingon Empire; dies while saving the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-B from an energy anomaly just minutes after its commissioning ceremony
2371 — Reappears in Nexus long enough to help Captain Jean-Luc Picard save planet Veridian III from destruction in the Nexus
As much as any other figure in Starfleet history, the tall tales about James T. Kirk's exploits over a 40-year career are as numerous as the official record — and probably closer to the truth in some instances. Kirk's renown began by becoming the youngest captain in Starfleet to date at 34 and the first captain to bring his starship back relatively intact after a five-year mission, having also gained a reputation as an independent whose success couldn't be argued even though he often bucked the system. He also has the distinction of being involved in 17 different temporal violations, a career record which still stands.
Kirk's ancestors pioneered the American frontier, and his Midwest roots tied him closely to American history, a lifelong interest. He had an older brother, George Samuel Kirk, although "Sam" and his wife Aurelan died at Deneva in 2267; their one son and Kirk's nephew Peter survived them. As a child of 13, Kirk witnessed the massacre of 4,000 people during a famine by the governor of Tarsus IV, nicknamed Kodos the Executioner.
A romantic at heart, Kirk never formed a lasting, romantic relationship due to his devotion to career — especially during his captaincy of the U.S.S. Enterprise. He did father a son with Dr. Carol Marcus, David, but was asked to avoid his upbringing and did not know he had matured into a scientific genius until 2285-86, when the young man was killed by Klingons on the Genesis planet he'd help to create. Kirk long grieved for the boy's death, and that he had only a few months to know his progeny. He also regretted not having married a woman named Antonia whom he dated for about two years, from 2282 to 2284.
A family friend named Mallory helped gain Kirk entry to Starfleet Academy, and he soon had the rare treat of earning starship duty as a first-year cadet with the brevet rank of ensign while aboard the U.S.S. Republic. There Kirk was close friends with Benjamin Finney, for whose murder Kirk was later tried, but was tormented by an upperclassman, Finnegan. As an older cadet he served as an instructor, where Gary Mitchell was one of his students and later his best friend, saving his life on Dimorus. His heroes included Abraham Lincoln and Captain Garth, whose missions were required reading in class, as were the works of Dr. Roger Korby. Kirk had the distinction of being the only cadet ever to beat the "no-win" Kobayashi Maru scenario; he had secretly reprogrammed the simulation computer, making it possible to win and earning himself a commendation for original thinking.
After graduation, Kirk's first assignment was the U.S.S. Farragut as a newly-promoted lieutenant, a tour distinguished by his command of a survey mission to Tyree's planet Neural in 2254 and his guilt-plagued discovery of the creature dubbed a "cloud vampire" which led to the deaths of his captain and 200 shipmates — although he realized that there was nothing he could have done to save them. Kirk once contracted and recovered from Vegan choriomeningitis, but still carries microorganisms of it in his blood.
Kirk's historically rapid rise to a captaincy and command of a loyal and respectful 430-member crew are reflected in the awards and commendations he had garnered by 2267, including the Palm Leaf of the Axanar Peace Mission, the Grankite Order of Tactics, a Class of Excellence award, the Prantares Ribbon of Commendation, First and Second Class, the Medal of Honor, a Silver Palm with Cluster, the Starfleet Citation for Conspicuous Gallantry, the Karagite Order of Heroism and several Awards of Valor.
It was on this Enterprise that he assembled a crew and forged friendships with fellow officers who would themselves become Starfleet legends: First Officer and Science Officer Spock, Dr. Leonard McCoy, engineer Montgomery Scott, Hikaru Sulu, Pavel Chekov, Uhura. Even after the end of their five-year mission, it almost became a cliché that only Kirk and his crew could save the Federation from a new crisis — or at least Earth. That is exactly what happened in the case of V'Ger in 2271 and the whale-calling aliens in 2286.
Kirk had accepted a promotion to admiral in charge of fleet operations upon his initial return, but accepted a reduction to captain when he regained command of the Enterprise in 2271 to thwart V'Ger, relieving Will Decker after recommending him for the "center seat." Some 14 years later after another five-year command mission and a return to Academy teaching, he used Spock's cadet ship to thwart a grab by his onetime nemesis Khan Noonian Singh for the experimental Genesis device. That mission in turn set off a chain of events that led to Kirk's reunion with Carol Marcus and his son David, David's death, Spock's sacrifice to save the ship and his storage of his katra in McCoy's mind, and the discovery that Spock's body had regenerated on the Genesis Planet.
Bucking the odds once again, Kirk's loyal officers all risked their careers and lives to steal the Enterprise, retrieve Spock's body for refusion with his katra, and face down a Klingon crew in their way bent on taking Genesis — which included the destruction of Kirk's beloved starship. With the stolen Klingon Bird-of-Prey and Spock on the road to recovery, the officers opted to return to face punishment — but not before time-traveling to retrieve extinct whales to save Earth from an alien probe's onslaught while searching for them. Once again, Kirk was rewarded rather than punished, and given command of the all-new U.S.S. Enterprise-A that year.
Heavily involved with early peace negotiations with the Klingons, Kirk's expose of a terrorist conspriacy trying to sabotage the talks helped bring about greater peace in the galaxy just prior to his retirement from Starfleet in 2293. While aboard for the ceremonial christening of the U.S.S. Enterprise-B, Kirk volunteered to launch a torpedo manually from the underarmed, understaffed ship during an unexpected rescue mission, but was pronounced dead when his section was ripped open by discharges from the Nexus, a temporal energy ribbon, and his body was never recovered. In actuality, he survived that incident by gaining access to the Nexus — and a timeless, perfect life within it for decades. He was finally shaken from endless Nexus fantasies in 2371, when Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D persuaded him to help stop the obsessed El-Aurian, Dr. Tolian Soran, from destroying Veridian III. They stopped the madman's plot, but Kirk was killed in the fight and buried in a plain grave atop a tall butte on the rocky planet.
At least two other James T. Kirks are known to have recorded lives in substatially different, but similar quantum parallel universes. See HERE for the James T. Kirk born aboard the USS Kelvin and raised fatherless.