Stephen King

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Stephen Edwin King was born in Portland, Maine, on September 21, 1947, the son of Donald and Nellie Ruth king. His father, a merchant seaman, deserted the family in about 1950. His mother took a succession of low-paying jobs to support him and his brother, David. A lonely, rather introverted child, King invented a more outgoing alter ego – Cannonball Cannon, a daredevil who “did good deeds” – and derived other vicarious thrills from listening to tales of horror on the radio, reading such spine-tingling comic books as Weird Science, Tales from the Crypt, and Tales from the Vault. He also went to see science fiction and monster movies. In October 1957, the local theater manager interrupted a Saturday matinee screening of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers to announce the Soviet Union’s launching of Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite. It was then that King sensed for the first time “a useful connection between the world of fantasy and that of what my Weekly Reader used to call current events.” Eventually, countless viewings over the years of such classic horror films as The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Thing, and It came from Outer Space convinced him that the horror movie’s chief value is “its ability to form a liaison between our fantasy fears and our real fears.”

The fortunate discovery of his father’s paperback collection of fantasy-horror fiction gave King, in his own words, a “...
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