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Stephen King is a New York Times-bestselling novelist who made his name in the horror and fantasy genres. Much of his work has been adapted into films.
Stephen King - Pet Cemetery (0:58)
Watch a short video about Stephen King and learn which classic novel earned him the title of the most successful writer of our time.
While vacationing in snowbound Colorado, King and his wife stayed at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, and found inspiration for the fictional Overlook Hotel and the trapped family in "The Shining."
At his new home in Maine, Stephen King discovered that living close to the road can be dangerous for family pets. The discovery was the basis for the novel "Pet Semetery."
While attending college in Maine, Stephen King protested the war in Vietnam and had his first work published in a mystery magazine.
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Stephen King was born on September 21, 1947 in Portland, Maine. He graduated from the University of Maine and worked odd jobs while establishing himself as a writer. His first horror novel Carrie, was a huge success. He published his earlier work under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. His books have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide and have been adapted into numerous successful films.
"[French is] the language that turns dirt into romance."
"We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones."
Born in Portland, Maine, Stephen King is one of the most famous and successful horror writers of all time. His parents split up when he was very young, and he and his brother David divided their time between Indiana and Connecticut for several years. King later moved back to Maine with his mother and brother. There he graduated from Lisbon Falls High School in 1966.
King stayed close to home for college, attending the University of Maine at Orono. There he wrote for the school's newspaper and served in its student government. King published his first short story while in college, which appeared in Startling Mystery Stories. After graduating with a degree in English in 1970, he tried to find a position as a teacher, but he had no luck at first. King took a job in a laundry and continued to write stories in his spare time.
In 1973, King sold his first novel, Carrie, the tale of a tormented teen who gets her revenge. The book became a huge success after it was published the following year, allowing him to devote himself to writing full time. It later adapted for the big screen with Sissy Spacek as the character. More popular novels soon followed, including Salem's Lot (1975), The Shining (1976), The Stand (1978), Cujo (1981) and It (1986). The Shining was made into a movie starring Jack Nicholson, and the film has become a classic horror thriller.
For much his career, King wrote novels and stories at a breakneck speed. He published several books per year for much of the 1980s and 1990s. As with his earlier works, his compelling and thrilling tales continued to be used as the basis of numerous feature and television films. Actress Kathy Bates and actor Gene Hackman starred in the critically and commercially successful adaptation of Misery in 1990. Four years later, The Shawshank Redemption, based on one of his stories, became another smash hit.
King continues to produce fascinating works. He has worked in television, writing for The Dead Zone series (based on his own novel) and for Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital series amogn other projects. King remains one of the most popular writers working today. In 2011, he published 22/11/63, a novel involving time travel as part of an effort to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. King has written Joyland, a pulp-fiction style thriller, which is set to be released in 2013. He is also working on Doctor Sleep, a story that explores a battle between good and evil.
King and his novelist wife divide their time between Florida and Maine. They have three children: Naomi Rachel, a reverend; Joseph Hillstrom, who writes under the pen name Joe Hill and is a lauded horror-fiction writer in his own right; and Owen Phillip, whose first collection of stories was published in 2005.
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Meet legendary writers of the horror genre whose vivid descriptions have have kept us on the edge of our seats, chapter after chapter. Some of their most gruesome creations and plot devices, from blood-sucking creatures of the night to the demons trapped within our own minds, continue to live on in the imaginations of readers. Explore Biography.com's list of "fright writers," including "Master of Suspense" Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Washington Irving and many more.
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