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Stephen King

Author - Intermediate




S tephen King was born in Portland, Maine on September 21, 1947. His father was a merchant seaman who changed his surname from Pollock to King. Stephen’s mother was a caregiver in a local facility for mentally challenged people.  His father left the family when Stephen was just two years old, but what changed Stephen King’s life was witnessing the death of his childhood friend. King later claimed he had no memory of the tragic accident, but many argue the event inspired the darkness which can be seen in his writing. King was raised Methodist after his mother.

As a child, King showed an interest in horror comics, and he independently published his first story “I Was a Teenage Grave Robber” in 1965. After he finished high school, King studied at the University of Maine and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English.  His first daughter, Naomi Rachel, was born the same year. King worked as a janitor and gas pump attendant to pay for his studies. He released his first novel “Carrie” in 1974. The same year his mother died of cancer. In the late 1970s, King started “The Dark Tower”, which proved to be a successful eight-book series over the next four decades. He also published under the pseudonyms Richard Bachman, John Swithen and Beryl Evans.

King married the novelist Tabitha Spruce in 1971. As of 2018, the couple has three children and four grandchildren.  King is also known for his political activism, speaking out against violence in video games for children. He is also running for Governor of Maine in 2018. The books he wrote brought him fame, but he is also known for his work as a philanthropist, donating several million dollars per year to libraries and local groups. 

King fought severe alcohol and drug addiction during the 1980’s and has admitted to writing several books under the influence. Inducing being unable to remember writing parts of the book, “Cujo.”  In 1999, King was hit by a car while walking on the side of the road near his home in Maine and was seriously injured. He had five operations to fix his damaged leg. The man who hit him was found dead in his apartment a little over a year after the accident.

As of 2018 King has published 64 books and has sold over 350 million copies. Many of his stories have been turned into Hollywood movies, TV shows, and graphic novels. King has also received a great many awards for his work as a writer and as known by many as the “King of Horror.” He is an inspiration to many writers and storytellers, and two of his children have even become successful writers.

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