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Biography of Stephen King

Updated on May 10, 2013

Stephen King is a master of writing horror novels. He is my favorite author, and I can only hope that he lives forever so he can continue to publish his masterpieces. Stephen's genius writings started at an early age and continued throughout his life. Though he had many bumps in the road, he overcame them with flying colors and is a one of the most successful authors in the market today.

Stephen King's Childhood Years

Stephen King was born in 1947 in Portland, Maine to Donald Edwin King and Ruth Pillsbury King. His father went out for cigarettes one day and never returned, leaving his mother alone to raise to children with the help of relatives. He and his adopted brother, David, split their time up between Connecticut and Indiana, but eventually their mother moved them back to Maine to stay in 1958. Her parents had become incapacitated and she became their primary caregiver, with the financial support of other family members. After King's grandparents passed away, his mother found work in a mental facility.

King began to show his passion for writing at the age of 11 when he and his brother decided to start their own local newspaper called "Dave's Rag". They bought a mimeograph machine and sold their paper for five cents per copy. That project began a lucrative career as a writer for King.

Stephen King attended Lisbon Falls High School in Durham, Maine. While in high school in 1963, King collaborated with his best friend, Chris Chesley to publish 18 short stories. He also published a two-part book called The Star Invaders in 1964. In 1965, he made his first published appearance in the magazine Comics Review with a story he wrote called I Was a Teenage Grave Robber. King graduated from Libson High School in 1966.

Young Stephen King
Young Stephen King

Stephen King's College Years

King attended the University of Maine at Orono in 1966 on a scholarship. He wrote for the student newspaper and was also active in student politics, adopting a conservative view and eventually came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus. During his first year in college, he completed his first full-length novel called A Long Walk. He submitted it for publication to Bennet Cerf/Random House only to have it rejected. He took the rejection hard and filed it away. King made his first short story sale while in college. His story, The Glass Floor, sold for $35. King graduated in 1970 with an English degree and a teaching certificate, but had trouble finding a teaching job right away. He continued writing, selling short stories to men's magazines to support himself, and took a job as a laborer at an industrial laundry facility.

Stephen King, 1971 and Beyond

In January of 1971, Stephen married Tabitha Jane Spruce and in the fall of that year, he took a teaching job at Hampden Academy. After the Kings moved to Hermon, Maine, Stephen King began to work on his hit novel Carrie, which was eventually adapted into a movie featuring Sissy Spacek as Carrie. He almost scrapped the novel because he thought it was no good, but his wife pulled the work from the trash and encouraged him to finish it. In January of 1973, he submitted his novel to Doubleday and in March, they bought the book. Two months later the publisher sold the paperback rights to New American Library. That contract was for $400,000, half of which King was entitled to. This provided the means for King to support his family and quit his teaching job.

The King family moved to Southern Maine due to his mother's failing health. She died of cancer at the age of 59. In 1974, the Kings moved to Boulder, Colorado. It was here that he wrote The Shining, which was eventually adapted for film, starring Jack Nicholson. This film became a classic horror film.

Stephen King continued to write novels, producing hit after hit. He published works at an amazing speed, and was labeled "The Master of Horror". Many of his novels have been adapted for film or television, and King made several cameo appearances in the movies and shows. The Kings had three children: Joe, Owen, and Naomi and purchased two homes; one in Bangor and the other in Center Lovell.

Although Stephen King does not put out works as fast as he once used to, he continues to keep fans on the edge of their seats with new stories. King has made a major impact on the world of writing and continues to build a legacy in the horror genre.


A Clip from "Carrie" - If You've Never Seen The Movie, Definitiely Watch This!

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    • prettynutjob30 profile image

      Mary 3 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      This man is awesome at what he does, I have been spellbound by his work since I was a child.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Green Mile is my favorite work by Mr. King...I read it in a series of small books...not sure how it is published these days.

      I stopped reading his books for a number of years and as a matter of fact have not returned to them. The subject matter in one of them was disturbing more so than in most of his books so I put it down. Maybe one day I will return as he is without a master at writing a twisted tale.

      Thanks for sharing this info with us..

      Angels are on the way ps

    • gkerosi profile image

      Geoffrey Kerosi 3 years ago from Nairobi

      A great hub on Stephen King. Voted Up and Useful. Thank you.

    • duffsmom profile image

      P. Thorpe Christiansen 3 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Good job. He is one of my favorite authors as well.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      Good information, well researched. I am a big fan of the King of horror myself. I think he could have written works of Nobel prize quality had he chosen. Hearts in Atlantis comes close.

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