|Portrayed by||Gene Dynarski|
Ben Childress was the leader of a group of lithium miners on Rigel XII. On Stardate 1329.1, Childress and his partners—Hiram Gossett and Benton —struck a deal with Harry Mudd for control of a supply of their lithium crystals in exchange for the three wiving settlers in his company—Eve McHuron, Magda Kovas and Ruth Bonaventure—shutting out Starfleet Captain James T. Kirk, who needed the crystals to repair his ship, the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701. Mudd's deception—the women were using an illegal Venus drug—was not discovered until after the deal had been completed, and Benton and Gossett had been married over subspace radio to Kovas and Bonaventure. Kirk assured them that the marriages could be annulled if they so chose, while Childress and McHuron chose to remain together in the end.