Stephen King (b. 1947)

American fiction writer. Born in Portland, Maine, King grew up fascinated with horror comics and began writing macabre tales while still a teenager. Not long after graduating with a degree in English from the University of Maine in 1970, he began his first novel, Carrie (1973), a best-selling supernatural thriller soon followed by Salem’s Lot (1975), The Shining (1977), and the serialized fantasy The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (1977–1981). Today King is a publishing phenomenon; his forty-nine novels, five nonfiction books, and nine collections of short stories have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide. Even after sustaining severe injuries in a 1999 road accident, he has managed to fulfill his daily quota of 2,000 words. See also