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BIOGRAPHY Stephen Edward King was born on September 21 1947 in Portland Maine He was the second son of a middle-aged couple Donald and Nellie King In 1949 Stevens father Donald King disappeared and was never seen or heard from again by his family Stephen and his elder brother David were brought up very strictly by their mother Ruth who was forced to rely upon the charity of relatives The family spent several years in Fort Wayne Indiana and Stratford Connecticut before settling down in 1958 in Durham Maine where Nellie cared for her aging parents Stephen King was a very sick as a child and illness once kept him out of school for an entire year To entertain himself he began writing at about the age of seven first copying stories from childrens books and later creating his own fantasy tales By the age twelve he was cranking out science fiction stories on an old Underwood typewriter his mother had given him he even sought unsuccessfully to have them published In 1959 in a box of his fathers old books stored in an attic he discovered collections from Weird Tales a fantasy and horror magazine of the 1940s as well as a volume of stories by the famous horror writer H P Lovecraft Horror tales soon became an obsession and he eventually came upon those of Richard Matheson another prominent writer of the genre King has frequently acknowledged Mathesons great influence on his own writing As a high school student King made copies of his stories on an old printing press his brother had acquired and he then sold them at school Though these first efforts at professionalism were quickly ended by the school principal King had become certain that he would succeed To his friends he seemed a relatively normal teenager but he already had a vision in his head to become a writer He graduated from the University of Maine in
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