Star Trek Expanded Universe

James Tiberius Kirk was a Starfleet officer and likely one of the most famous in Federation history. Kirk's most recognized years were as the captain of two different Enterprises, the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) and the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A). (Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)


James Kirk was born to George and Winona Kirk in 2233. His first name was the same as his maternal grandfather, and his middle name was adopted from his paternal grandfather's name. (Star Trek)

In the novelization for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, it is mentioned that James were also the names of a late paternal uncle and his mother's first lover.

As a young teenager, Kirk lived on Tarsus IV during an agricultural crisis. He was one of nine witnesses to the depredations of the colony's governor, Kodos. (TOS: "The Conscience of the King")

Different continuities describe the details of this portion of Kirk's life -- and its influence on his adult life -- differently.

Kirk's class at Starfleet Academy (class of 2254) was the first group of cadets to be selected on the basis of their "limited intellectual agility". (Star Trek: The Motion Picture novelization) Among the Starfleet officers who recommended him were Admiral Jay Mallory (TOS: "The Apple") and Admiral George La Forge. (TOS novel: The Galactic Whirlpool)

Prior to command of the Enterprise, Kirk commanded a "destroyer-class" ship. (The Making of Star Trek)

The name of this ship is different in different continuities.

Kirk rose to become the youngest captain in Starfleet history when he received command of the USS Enterprise in 2264. Over the next three decades, the names Kirk and Enterprise were synonymous. With the retirement of the USS Enterprise-A in 2293, that historic partnership ended.

That same year, Kirk participated in the commissioning of the ship that replaced his famous vessel, the USS Enterprise-B. During the shakedown cruise, the Enterprise became trapped in the Nexus after attempting to rescue the crew and passengers of two other vessels. Kirk was instrumental in freeing the vessel; however, he was believed killed after the section he was in was destroyed and opened to space by an energy discharge from the Nexus. (Star Trek Generations)

In 2371, Jean-Luc Picard, after entering the Nexus, discovered that Kirk had not died as history had thought and was alive inside the Nexus. Picard convinced Kirk to leave the false paradise of the Nexus to assist him in saving the Veridian system by stopping Tolian Soran from destroying the system's sun. Thanks to Kirk's help, Picard's mission was successful, though at the cost of Kirk's life in earnest. (Star Trek Generations)

Awards and honors[]

Palm Leaf of Axanar Peace Mission
Grankite Order of Tactics (Class of Excellence)
Prentares Ribbon of Commendation (Classes First and Second)
Medal of Honor
Starfleet Silver Palm (with cluster)
Starfleet Citation for Conspicuous Gallantry
Karagite Order of Heroism
Khitomer Peace Mission Medal
Leonard James Akaar - The Teer of Capella IV bears the name of McCoy and James T. Kirk. (TOS: "Court Martial")
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) - A starship was rechristened in recognition of his service, bearing the registration number of his original command, an honor carried on for generations. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Key dates[]

  • 2233: Born in Riverside, Iowa on Earth.
  • 2246: One of nine witnesses to the massacre ordered by Governor Kodos on Tarsus IV.
  • 2250: Enters Starfleet Academy as a cadet (conjecture). Meets Gary Mitchell and Ben Finney during Academy years.
  • 2252: Romantically involved with Ruth.
  • Early to mid-2250s: Still at the Academy, is introduced to a "blonde lab tech" by Gary. Later, as an ensign, is assigned aboard USS Republic with Lieutenant Ben Finney. Kirk also participates in the Axanar Peace Mission.
  • 2254: Graduates from Academy after beating the "no-win" Kobayashi Maru scenario. Assigned to command of Captain Garrovick (conjecture).
  • 2255: Commands his first planet survey mission on Neural.
  • 2257: Encounters dikironium cloud creature while serving abouard USS Farragut.
  • 2261: Relationship with Carol Marcus ends; their son, David Marcus, is born. (TOS novel: Inception) Kirk breaks off relationship with Janet Wallace.
  • 2263: Breaks off relationship with Areel Shaw.
  • 2265 - 2270: As captain, commands a five-year mission of USS Enterprise. Specific accomplishments include:
    2265: Takes the Enterprise to the galactic barrier, the first Earth ship to do so in 200 years. During the mission, is forced to kill close friend Gary Mitchell.
    2266: Achieves first contact with the First Federation. Later that year, repels Romulan incursion into the Neutral Zone and destroys a Romulan Bird-of-Prey.
    2267: Becomes the first Starfleet captain ever to stand court-martial, charged with negligent homicide in the death of Ben Finney. Charges dismissed.
    2268: Responsible for stealing a Romulan cloaking device during a covert Starfleet intelligence mission. Experiences amnesia and lives among the American Indians on Amerind where he weds Miramanee.
    2269: Diverts the asteroid-ship Yonada from destroying Daran V.
  • 2270: Promoted to rear admiral and assigned as Chief of Starfleet Operations.
  • Early 2270s: Accepts temporary grade reduction to captain and assumes command of USS Enterprise to intercept V'Ger.
  • 2273-78: In many continuities, including that of Pocket Books and Orion Press, Kirk commanded a second five-year mission aboard Enterprise.
  • 2281: Retires from Starfleet.
  • 2284: Returns to Starfleet as an instructor at Starfleet Academy.
  • 2285: Assumes temporary command of Enterprise during a routine training mission; engages Khan Singh in the Battle of the Mutara Nebula. Deserts from Starfleet later that year to retrieve Captain Spock's body from the Genesis planet.
  • 2286: Returns to Earth to face court-martial charges. Subsequently saves the planet in the whale probe incident. Demoted to captain for disobeying orders of Starfleet Commander Harry Morrow and assigned to command the USS Enterprise-A.
  • 2287: Takes Enterprise-A to the center of the galaxy after a hijack attempt by Vulcan renegade Sybok.
  • 2293: Along with Captain Hikaru Sulu of the USS Excelsior, is responsible for saving the Khitomer Conference. Retires from Starfleet and is believed killed later that year during the maiden voyage of the Enterprise-B.
  • 2371: Found alive inside the Nexus by Jean-Luc Picard. Killed by Tolian Soran while defeating Soran's plans and saving Veridian system.

Service jacket[]

Previous assignments[]

Captain 2265-2270 Assigned as commanding officer, USS Enterprise
2200s - CAPT (Command).png
Rear Admiral 2270-2273 Assigned as Chief of Starfleet Operations
2273 Temporary commanding officer of USS Enterprise
2273-2285 Assigned as Chief of Starfleet Operations
2285-2286 Assigned as instructor at Starfleet Academy
Captain 2286-2293 Reduction in grade and position

aboard to commanding officer of USS Enterprise-A

Officers of the starships Enterprise
USS Enterprise Command Insignia.png
USS Enterprise Command Pin.png
Starfleet Flag Officer Pin.png
Pike | Chin-Riley | Spock | Decker | Sulu April
G. Mitchell
H. Sulu
Walking Bear
Tyler | Amin
J. Mitchell
Alden | Bailey
Farrell | Hadley | Riley
Stiles | Latimer | DeSalle
Osborne | Painter
Chekov | Leslie | Haines
Arex | Ilia | DiFalco
NCC-1701-A: Kirk Spock McCoy Spock Scott Chekov H. Sulu | Saavik
Chekov Uhura
NX-01 | NX-01 (mirror) | NCC-1701 | NCC-1701 (alt) | NCC-1701 (mirror) | NCC-1701-A | NCC-1701-B | NCC-1701-C | NCC-1701-D | NCC-1701-E


Absolute Horizon/Cloak and Dagger[]

James Kirk's father, George, died when Jim was 13. After his father's death, Kirk ran away to live with relatives on Tarsus IV, where his great-aunt Marina was one of those killed by Governor Kodos's forces. Those deemed unworthy of life were given a red scarf to wear, while those deemed worthy according to Kodos's eugenic theories were given a blue scarf.

Jim joined a resistance cell against Governor Kodos; as punishment, after they were caught, all of the other members of the cell were executed in front of him.

Kirk was imprisoned for nearly a month during that time and was freed by a female Starfleet officer whose name he did not remember.

The depredations the young Kirk suffered on Tarsus IV were what motivated him to seek the command-track at Starfleet Academy. He wanted to keep all of the people under his command safe. (Absolute Horizon)

Kirk's mother's name was Winona Keeble. Sam and Jim had a sister, Carolina, born (two years before Jim) too prematurely to survive. Jim himself had been born five weeks early, on a colony world called Melosia.

Jim always idolized his brother Sam and was overprotective of him, even though Sam was the older one. When Sam was killed by the neural parasites on Deneva, Winona blamed Jim for not getting there fast enough. She compared him to his late father: "Always better at saving others than saving your own family." (Cloak and Dagger)

"As if Rain for Resurrection"[]

Kirk's great-grandfather, Crewman James Robelius Kirk, was a cook on the Columbia and was killed in an accident in 2179.

Star Trek: The Cantabrian Expeditions[]

After Kirk's presumed death, Captain Thekla Lawless, a close friend for at least two decades, spoke at Kirk's memorial service. One statement she made was, "Jim was a close friend who always seemed to be a knight in shining armor when a young woman needed one." (Star Trek: The Cantabrian Expeditions: "The Fire In Which We Burn")

Expanding the Oecumene[]

Kirk and Spock first met in San Francisco. Spock was then three years ahead of Kirk at the Academy.

"A Moment on Tarsus IV"[]

On Tarsus IV, the 13-year-old Jim Kirk helped a young Vulcan boy that he discovered beside his mother's body. He helped the Vulcan by keeping him fed and protecting him from human predators. An older Vulcan took over responsibility from Kirk. He would not learn either of the Vulcans' names until many years later.

Orion Press[]

James Tiberius Kirk was born in 2232 in Riverside, Iowa to George Samuel Kirk, Sr. and Marjorie Kirk. (Lexicon K-L, 2010 revision)

Kirk and Carol Marcus became parents to a son, David Alexander Marcus, the year that Kirk graduated from the Academy, 2254. (The Dianasian Gift)

By 2263, Kirk had achieved the rank of lieutenant commander and was both second officer and chief of security on the Farragut. The following year, he received a promotion to full commander and was given command of the USS Shenandoah.

In addition to Peter Kirk, one of the few survivors of the Denevan blastoneuron invasion in 2267, Kirk had two other nephews, George Samuel Kirk III, aka "Georgie", and Marc Kirk. ("Sam")

In 2285, during the Kelvan War, Kirk was assigned as Commander, Task Force Six and, later, Commander of the Kelvan Theater of Operations. (In Harm's Way)

The Starfleet Museum[]

Kirk served under Captain Matthew Decker as executive officer of the Pyotr Velikiy-class USS Tav for a time in the late 2250s. (The Starfleet Museum)

Bait and Switch[]

As captain of USS Enterprise, James Kirk led first contact between the Federation and the Bajoran species in 2270, following an encounter with Bajoran ships headed for their colony Pillagra. Kirk contracted banta fever by sleeping with a Bajoran during the incident, but was cured by Leonard McCoy. (TOS novel: Allegiance in Exile; Bait and Switch: "A Changed World")

Alternate continuities[]


In this continuity, James Kirk's father was named George Joseph Kirk.

In 2372, Kirk was revived after his death on Veridian III. He played a key role in foiling an alliance between rogue Romulans and the Borg Collective. Subsequently, married Teilani, aided the Federation during the virogen crisis, and prevented an incursion from the mirror universe led by his counterpart. (TOS novels: The Return, Avenger, Spectre, Dark Victory, Preserver)

Kirk and Teilani had a son, Joseph Kirk. (Preserver)

External links[]