Stephen King

Early Life

Stephen King

Stephen Edwin King was born in Portland, Maine on September 21, 1947. He lived a fairly normal childhood until one night when his father, Donald King, stepped out for cigarettes and was never seen or heard from again. His mother was left to care for him and his older brother, David, often relying on the help of other family members.

King's first experience in writing began early on at 12, when he and David started their own local newspaper called Dave's Rag. They had bought their own mimeograph machine and sold issues for 5 cents a piece. In high school he joined up with his best friend, publishing a collection of 18 short stories called People, Places, and Things--Volume I in 1963. The next year they published a two-part book, The Star Invaders.

In 1965 King was able to get his story, I Was a Teenage Grave Robber, published in Comics Review magazine. After graduating high school he attended the University of Maine. During his first year he published his first novel, The Long Walk, submitting it to Bennet-Cerf/Random House only to have it rejected.

His first sale came with his story, The Glass Floor, for $35. In 1970, graduating college with a Bachelor of Science in English and certificate to teach high school, his next idea came. Inspired by Robert Browning's poem, Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, he started work on his Dark Tower saga. However, being short on money he was forced to suspend work on the novel for the time being. He took a job as a gas attendant and was later able to submit his stories to magazines, such as Cavalier to earn money.

He married his wife, Tabitha, in the summer of 1971 and took a teaching job at Hampden Academy later that year. It was about that time that he began work on his novel Carrie. With encouragement from his wife, he submitted the story to Doubleday in 1973. The publisher sold the paperback rights to the "New American Library" for $400,000, with King getting half of the sum and allowing him to leave his job.

Through the years King has written many well-known stories and has had movies made based on his work. His talent for writing horror fiction has earned him the title, "The Master of Horror," and rightfully so.

Books Known For

Carrie (1973) Salem's Lot (1975) The Shining (1977)
The Stand (1978) Cujo (1981) Dark Tower (1982)
Christine (1983) Pet Sematary (1983) It (1986)
Misery (1987)

BrainDid You Know?

His stories are often set in Maine and have the lead as male writers.

King was hit by a minivan in June 1999, suffering a broken leg, bruised lung and head laceration.

He owns three radio stations in Maine.

He loves AC/DC and plays in a rock band himself. It's called the Rock Bottom Remainders and all of the members are fellow writers.

He has battled addictions with cocaine and alcohol in the past.

He was close friends with George Romero (d).

He was offered a chance to write and direct A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989).

He is a fan of 28 Days Later (2002).

He said that Stand By Me (1986) is the closest adaptation of his works.