Stephen King: From Rags To Riches

2024 words - 8 pages

Stephen King had a, somewhat, troubled childhood, which, some people believe was the reason he was inspired to write some of his darker works and made him into the writer he is today. Stephen King, one of the most intense storytellers of our time, was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, into a family of three: his mother, Nellie Ruth Pillsbury, his father, Donald, and his adopted older brother, David. After his parents had separated, when his father left for a pack of cigarettes and never returned, Stephen King and Donald King were cared for by their mother. King and his brother spent parts of their childhood in Fort Wayne, where their father’s family lived, and in Stratford, Connecticut, until Nellie Ruth Pillsbury brought them back to Durham, Maine for good. Twelve-year-old Stephen King developed a love for writing when he wrote articles in his brother’s local newspaper, titled, “Dave’s Rags.” King wrote mainly about upcoming television shows and began to sell the successful articles to people for thirty cents. Young Stephen King even sold them at his school until his teachers put a stop to it. He attended grammar school in Durham, followed by enrolling in the Lisbon Falls High School, where he graduated in 1966. In 1967, when he was twenty, King made his first professional publication, “The Glass Floor,” (King, Tabitha). His earlier works, however, lacked scientific grounding because he had not achieved any college level degree until he studied at The University of Maine at Orono, where he met his future wife, Tabitha. He was active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate. He came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional. He received his bachelors of Science and English in 1970, and then married Tabitha Spruce in 1971. King was first an industrial Laundromat, then became a janitor, and then finally became an English teacher at Hamden Public School in Maine in the Fall of 1971, and he wrote when ever he wasn’t working. His first major success came when he published Carrie in 1974 with Doubleday, which earned him enough money to pay for his bills. Kings life long financial struggle ended on May 12, 1973 when he received a call that Doubleday had sold the rights to reprint Carrie to New American Library for four hundred thousand dollars, and he was to get half. To celebrate the event, King ceremoniously bought his wife a hairdryer to mark the end of their money struggle, though his mother, Nellie Ruth, did not live long enough to see the book printed because she died of uterine cancer. His Aunt Emrine had read the novel to her before she died. King has written of his severe drinking problem at this time, stating that he was drunk delivering the eulogy at his mother's funeral. This new source of money, however, gave King the means to leave teaching and start writing full time. He has, since then,...

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