Famously described as the “King of Horror” and one of the best supernatural fiction writers of his generation, Stephen Edwin King was born in 1947 in Portland, Maine. King’s father left the family when he was only two years old, leaving his mother, Nellie, to raise King and his brother alone, with little financial assistance. As a child, King also witnessed the death of a close friend when he was run over by a train, an event some literary critics have speculated contributed to his desire to write psychologically challenging books.
King started making money from his literary talents at the tender age of 20, selling a short story entitled “The Glass Floor”. After earning an English degree from the University of Maine, he continued to write successful short stories while holding down a job as a teacher. The publication of King’s first novel Carrie in 1973 kickstarted his career as a full-time genre fiction writer.
To date, King has produced 64 novels, selling hundreds of millions of copies and winning a raft of high-profile awards, including a Bram Stoker Award, a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, and a National Medal of Arts from the US National Endowments for the Arts.
King’s work has inspired at least 50 films and television shows since the release of Brian De Palma’s adaptation of Carrie in 1976. Some of the most well-known examples include The Shining (1980), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), The Green Mile (1999), It (2017), and Pet Sematary (2019). King continues to work and write, most recently publishing If It Bleeds, a collection of four horror novellas.
“Every book you pick up has its own lesson or lessons, and quite often the bad books have more to teach than the good ones.”
― Stephen King