Stephen King biography
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. Over the years, King became known for his frightening and critically-acclaimed titles. His books have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide and have been adapted into numerous successful films.
Author Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947, in Portland, Maine. King is recognized as one of the most famous and successful horror writers of all time. His parents, Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King, 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 until late 1971, when he began working as an English teacher at Hampden Academy.
King of Thrills and Chills
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), Firestarter (1980), Cujo (1981) and IT (1986).
While making novels about sewer-dwelling monsters and vicious, rabid dogs—as seen in IT and Cujo, respectively—King published several books as Richard Bachman. The four early novels—Rage (1977), The Long Walk (1979), Roadwork (1981) and The Running Man (1982)—were published under another name because of King's concern that the public wouldn't accept more than one book from an author within a year. He came up with the alias after seeing a novel by Richard Stark on his desk—which it turned out was a pseudonym used by Donald Westlake—and coupling it with what he heard playing on his record player at the time, which was "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet," by Bachman Turner Overdrive.
Television and Film Adaptations
Although many of King's works were adapted into film or television—Firestarter became a film in 1984, starring Drew Barrymore; Cujo became a film in 1983; and It became a miniseries in 1990, starring Tim Curry—The Shining, which was released on film in 1980 starred Jack Nicholson, became 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 '90s. 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 James Caan 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 continued 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, amongst other projects. King has remained one of the most popular writers with his later work. In 2011, he published 11/22/63, a novel involving time travel as part of an effort to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. King also wrote the novel Joyland (2013), a pulp-fiction style thriller that takes readers on a journey to uncovering who's behind an unsolved murder. He also surprised audiences by releasing Doctor Sleep, a sequel to his popular sophomore novel The Shining, in 2013. The novel became No. 1 on the New York Times best seller list in October 2013.
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.
Outside of writing, King is a music fan. He even sometimes plays guitar and sings in a band called Rock Bottom Remainders with fellow literary stars Dave Barry and Amy Tan. The group has performed a number of times over the years to raise money for charity.