Stephen King Biography

Stephen King is the most prominent and prolific horror author of the modern era. King lived in a poor, single-parent household where he often turned to reading wild fiction and writing his own stories for entertainment. As a literary-minded boy, he developed a keen interest in comic books and H.P. Lovecraft stories. By the time he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English, King had already penned numerous articles for his high school and university newspapers, so it’s no wonder that he has gone on to publish so many stories. What is surprising, though, is that this once-timid English teacher who typed out his novels in a laundry room makes his living by scaring the wits out of the rest of world.

Facts and Trivia

  • King’s first novel, Carrie, almost never made it to print. King’s wife, Tabitha, rescued it from the garbage and encouraged King to complete the work.
  • An avid Boston Red Sox fan, King coordinates many aspects of his life around baseball. He frequently travels to Red Sox spring training sites, he trims his facial hair based on the beginning and end of the season, and he even appeared in the movie Fever Pitch—about an obsessed Red Sox fan, of course!
  • King has written several works under the name Richard Bachman, a pseudonym created to enable him to publish and sell more than one book a year, which was once widely thought to be the maximum production for an author.
  • Though he says he has no real musical talent, King plays guitar in the band Rock Bottom Remainders. Other band members include writers Amy Tan, Mitch Albom, and Dave Berry.
  • In 1999, King was hit by a car and almost killed while out on his daily walk. This accident occurred less than a year after he wrote about one of his characters being struck by a car while out on a daily walk.

Biography

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Article abstract: Through his storytelling abilities and vivid imagination, as demonstrated in his novels, short stories, and films, Stephen King has done much to move the horror genre into the forefront of popular literature. He has modernized many gothic or horror themes and techniques.

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Early Life

Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947, at Maine General Hospital in Portland, Maine, the second son of Donald Edwin and Nellie Ruth King. His brother David had been born two years earlier. When King was only two years old, his father, a captain in the merchant marines, deserted the family and never saw them again. This desertion placed hardships upon the young family, forcing them to move often in order for Nellie to provide for her two sons. In their search for a place to call home, the family lived in Maine, Massachusetts, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Finally, when King was six years old, the family settled in Stratford, Connecticut, where they lived for six years.

King became interested in the horror genre early in life. He listened to suspenseful radio dramas and eventually came under the spell of good storytelling such as in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (1883) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) and horror films such as The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). The real potential of other worlds came into young King’s life in 1957 with the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik I. King’s teachers reported that one of his greatest passions was writing stories of his own, an activity that began when he was six years old.

In 1958, when King was eleven years old, his family moved to Durham, Maine. It was here that the future writer discovered that he had something in common with his absent father when he discovered an old trunk in the attic of his aunt and uncle’s garage that contained a box of his father’s books, including some by New England horror writer H. P. Lovecraft and some of Donald’s own early attempts at writing short stories.

King continued his interest in writing throughout his public education and, after graduating from Lisbon...

(The entire section contains 2375 words.)

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