Stephen King became a household name for his literary work in the horror and fantasy genres. He is a New York Times best-selling and award-winning author with notable oeuvre including The Shining, IT, and Carrie. As you may probably know, much of his work has been adapted for movies and television series.
Born in Portland, Maine, on September 21, 1947, Stephen King earned his college degree from the University of Maine. He then worked as a teacher while launching a career as a writer. He has published works under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, such as Carrie. Over the years, he catapulted to fame for writing titles that are critically acclaimed and commercially successful, selling more than 350 million copies of his works worldwide.
1. Early Life and Education
When King’s parents split up when he was young, he and his brother David lived in Indiana and Connecticut. The future writer then moved back to Maine to live with his mom and brother. He studied at the University of Maine, where he served in its student government and wrote for its newsletter. While in school, he wrote his first short story, which was published in Startling Mystery Stories. He completed his English degree in 1970, and by the following year, he taught English at Hampden Academy. It was also that year that he tied the knot with fellow writer Tabitha Spruce.
2. King of Thrills and Chills
In 1973, Stephen King released his first novel, Carrie, a tale of a tormented teen who gets even with her friends. The book became a huge hit after its publication, allowing him to carve a writing career path full time and increase his credit score. The novel was later adapted for a movie with actress Sissy Spacek as the titular character. Other hit novels soon followed, including The Shining, Salem’s Lot, Firestarter, Cujo, and IT. His early stories were published under the moniker Richard Bachman because of his concern that the public would not accept more than one novel from the same writer within a year.
3. Television and Film Adaptations
King’s books were made into movie or television adaptations, such as Cujo and Firestarter. The Shining, adapted into a film and was later released in 1980, starred actors Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. It became a popular horror thriller that is still iconic today.
For his long-running writing career, King made investments in his stories and novels at a breakneck speed. He published many books every year for much of the ’80s and ’90s. For his work Misery, actors Kathy Bates and James Caan starred in its film adaptation, with Bates bringing home an Oscar award for her role as the psychotic Annie Wilkes.
The Shawshank Redemption, featuring actors Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, was based on one of his stories. Another novel, The Stand, became a ’90s miniseries starring Molly Ringwald and Gary Sinise in the lead. On the other hand, The Green Mile was also made into a film, starring Michael Clarke Duncan and Tom Hanks.
4. Later Work
Aside from working on his novels, King also worked directly on television, having writing credits for series such as Under the Dome and Kingdom Hospital. In 2013, he released a sequel to The Shining titled Doctor Sleep, which hit the number 1 spot on the New York Times chart.
Meanwhile, his written works have continued to populate the silver and television screens. In 2019, he published his 61st novel, The Institute.
5. Personal Life
Today, 73-year-old King continues to gas up his fans and readers with his thrilling stories since he has not retired from his writing career yet. He and his novelist wife divide their time between Maine and Florida. They have three kids together: Naomi Rachel, Joseph Hillstrom, and Owen Phillip.