Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947 at the Maine General Hospital
in Portland Maine. His parents were Donald Edwin King and Ruth Pillsbury
King. Stephen being the only natural born child in the family and his older
brother David having been adopted at birth two years earlier.
The Kings were the typical family until one night when Donald King said he
was stepping out for cigarettes and was never heard from again. At this point
Ruth took over raising the family with help from other relatives of the family.
They traveled throughout many states over several years finally moving back
to Durham, Maine in 1958.
Stephen King began his actual writing career in January of 1959 when David
King and Stephen decided to publish their own local town newspaper named
Dave's Rag. David bought a mimeograph and they created a paper that sold
for five cents an issue.
Stephen King attended Lisbon High School, in Lisbon, Maine in 1962. Collaborating
with his best friend Chris Chesley, in 1963 they published a collection of
18 short stories called People, Places, and Things-Volume I. King's stories
included "Hotel at the End of the Road", "I've Got to Get Away!", "The Dimension
Warp", "The Thing at the Bottom of the Well", "The Stranger", "I'm Falling",
"The Cursed Expedition", and "The Other Side of the Fog."
A year later King's amateur press Triad and Gaslight Books, published a two
part book titled "The Star Invaders".
Stephen King made is first actual published appearance in 1965 in the magazine
Comics Review with his story "I Was a Teenage Grave Robber." The story ran
about 6,000 words in length.
In 1966, Stephen King graduated from high school and took a scholarship to
attend the University of Maine. Looking back on his high school days, King
recalled that "my high school career was totally undistinguished. I was not
at the top of my class, nor at the bottom."
Later that summer King began working on a novel called "Getting It On", about
some kids who take over a classroom and try unsuccessfully to ward off the
National Guard. During his first year at college, King completed his first
full length novel, "The Long Walk." He submitted the novel to Bennett Cerf/Random
House only to have it rejected. King took the rejection bad and filed the
Stephen King made his first small sale with his story "The Glass Floor" for
the amount of thirty-five dollars.
In June 1970, Stephen King graduated from the University of Maine with a
Bachelor of Science degree in English and a certificate to teach high school.
King's next idea came from the poem by Robert Browning, "Childe Roland to
the Dark Tower Came." He found bright colored green paper in the library
and began work on The Dark Tower saga. But due to his lack of income he was
unable to further pursue the novel at great length and it too was filed away.
King took a measly job of pumping gas earning $1.25 an hour.
Stephen King then began to earn money for his writings by submitting his
short stories do men's magazines such as Cavalier.
On January 2, 1971, Tabitha Jane Spruce and Stephen King were married. And
in the fall of 1971, King took a teaching job at Hampden Academy earning
$6,400 a year. The Kings then moved to Hermon, a town west of Bangor, Maine.
Stephen King than began work on a short story about a teenage girl named
Carietta White. After a completing a few pages, King decided it was not a
worthy story and crumpled the pages up and tossed them into the trash.
Fortunately for Stephen, his wife Tabitha took the pages out and read them.
She encouraged her husband to continue the story. He did. In January 1973,
King submitted Carrie to Doubleday. In March, Doubleday bought the book.
On May 12, Doubleday sold the paperback rights of Carrie to New American
Library for $400,000. Based on the book contract, Stephen King would get
half of that. King quit his teaching job to pursue writing full time. And
the rest, as they say, is history.
Since then, King has had numerous short stories and novels published and
movies created from his work. Stephen King is called the "Master
of Horror". His books have been translated into 33 different
languages, published in over 35 different countries. There are over 300 million
copies of his novels in publication. He continues to live in Bangor,
Maine with his wife where he writes out of his home.
In June 1999 Stephen King was severely injured in an accident that left him in
critical condition with injuries to his lung, broken ribs, a broken leg and a
severely fractured hip. After three weeks of operations he was released from
the Central Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine. Stephen continues to be
bedridden and requires intensive rehabilitation over the remainder of this year.
He is expected to be able to walk about 9-12 months after the accident. Due to
Stephen King's injuries his current projects that he was working on have been
hampered and will be delayed at least a year.
Stephen King as Actor
Stephen King has played roles in some of the movies based on his stories.
His roles have been:
Band Leader - Stephen King's The Shinning (May 1997)
Dr. Bangor-Pharmacist - THINNER (1996)
Tom Holby-Head Chairman of the Board - THE LANGOLIERS (1995)
Teddy Weizak-Boarder guard/Nadine's ride - THE STAND (1994)
Cematary Caretaker - SLEEPWALKERS (1992)
Bus Driver - GOLDEN YEARS (1991)
The Priest - PET SEMATARY (1989)
Truck Driver - CREEPSHOW II (1987)
Guy swearing at ATM - MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE (1986)
Jordy Verril/Truck Driver - CREEPSHOW (1982)
Hoagie Man - KNIGHTRIDERS (Directed by George Romero) (1981)