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Biography: Stephen King

photo of author
“I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries.”

Dubbed “The King Of Horror”, Stephen King is probably the biggest and most recognisable name in the horror genre today. He has published over fifty best selling horror and fantasy novels, and has over 100 million novels in print.


Stephen King was born on September 21, 1947, in Portland, Maine. His father left when King was two years old, and he and his older brother David were raised by their mother, often under great financial hardship. During King’s younger years, the family lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Stratford, Conneticut, but when he was eleven they returned to Portland so that King’s mother could care for her ailing parents.

King attended Durham Elementary School and then Lisbon Falls High School. He and his brother started a newspaper, “Dave’s Rag”, in which King first showcased his talents. King graduated from Lisborn in 1966, and sold his first short story in 1967, while he was attending the University of Maine. He wrote a column in the university paper there, and was politically active in the anti-Vietnam war movement. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1970, and was rejected by the Vietnam draft board. While at university he met Tabitha Spruce, whom he married in 1971.

King didn’t get work straight out of university, and the early years of his marriage were financially difficult. He worked in an industrial laundry, and then found a teaching placement in late 1971. He supplemented the couple’s income with short story sales to magazines.

In 1973, King sent his first novel, Carrie, to Doubleday at the insistence of his wife. The novel was accepted, and set for publication in 1974. King and family moved to southern Maine to be closer to his ailing mother, and wrote his second novel, Salem’s Lot. His mother died right before the release of Carrie in 1974. The eventual paperback sales from Carrie allowed King to take up writing full time. He and his family moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 1975, and traveled to England for three months in 1977 while King worked on various writing projects. He briefly taught creative writing at the University of Maine.

King decided to test his success as a writer from 1977 to 1984 by publishing under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. The books hinted at his authorship, and fans picked up on the discrepancies, causing King to reveal the fact that he was Bachman in 1985. He created a biography for Bachman, and has published three other books under the name.

King continued to write prolifically, living with his children and then just with his wife in Maine. In 1999 he was hit by a car and suffered serious injuries, making it difficult for him to write for prolonged periods of time.

In 2000, King attempted a serialised novel that was entirely released on the internet. In 2002, he announced that he was giving up writing novels, but continues to contribute to newspapers, television, and movies. King plays guitar in the Rock Bottom Remainders, an all-author rock band.

King and his wife donate large amounts of money to various causes around their home state of Maine. He has also won several awards, including Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Awards, which was extremely controversial and incited much debate about King’s status as a literary writer. King currently lives in Maine with his wife. Two of his children are writers.


Novels as Stephen King

  • Carrie (1974)
  • Salem’s Lot (1975)
  • The Shining (1977)
  • The Stand (1978)
  • The Dead Zone (1979)
  • Firestarter (1980)
  • Cujo (1981)
  • Christine (1983)
  • Pet Sematary (1983)
  • Cycle Of The Werewolf (1984)
  • The Talisman (1984)
  • IT (1986)
  • Misery (1987)
  • The Eyes Of The Dragon (1987)
  • Tommyknockers (1987)
  • The Dark Half (1989)
  • Needful Things (1991)
  • Dolores Clairborne (1992)
  • Gerald’s Game (1992)
  • Insomnia (1994)
  • Rose Madder (1995)
  • Desperation (1996)
  • Bag Of Bones (1998)
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (1999)
  • The Green Mile (novel of compiled serial novels published 1996) (2000)
  • Black House (2001)
  • Dreamcatcher (2001)
  • From A Buick 8 (2002)
  • The Colorado Kid (2005)
  • Cell (2006)
  • Lisey’s Story (2006)

The Dark Tower Novels as Stephen King

  • The Gunslinger (1982)
  • The Drawing Of The Three (1987)
  • The Waste Lands (1991)
  • Wizard And Glass (1997)
  • Wolves Of The Calla (2003)
  • Song Of Susannah (2004)
  • The Dark Tower (2004)

Short Story Collections as Stephen King

  • Night Shift (1978)
  • Different Seasons (1982)
  • Skeleton Crew (1985)
  • Four Past Midnight (1990)
  • Nightmares And Dreamscapes (1993)
  • Hearts in Atlantis (1999)
  • Everything’s Eventual (2002)
  • Six Stories (1997)
  • The Secretary Of Dreams (Graphic Novel) (2006)

Novels as Richard Bachman

  • Rage (1977)
  • The Long Walk (1979)
  • Roadwork (1981)
  • The Running Man (1982)
  • Thinner (1984)
  • The Regulators (1996)
  • Blaze (2007)


  • Danse Macabre (1981)


Stephen King primarily writesHorror and Fantasy novels.