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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 walked out on the family in 1950 His mother struggled with a number of low-paying jobs to support him and his adopted brother David As a child Stephen King invented an alter ego named Cannonball Cannon a daredevil who did good deeds and enjoyed reading comic books such as Weird Science Tales from the Crypt and Tales from the Vault He also went to see science fiction and monster movies 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 me that the horror movies chief value is its ability to form a liaison between our fantasy fears and our real fears The fortunate discovery of his fathers paperback collection of fantasy-horror fiction gave King in his own words a taste of a world that went deeper than the B-pictures or the boys fiction of Carl Carmer and Roy Rockwell As a child Stephen King was surprised to find that his long-absent father had shared his interest in science fiction but even more surprised to learn that Donald King wrote several horror stories and submitted them to Bluebook Argosy and other magazines Stephen King was determined to become a writer While still a student at the local high school he tried writing short stories He never sold a single one but he did win first prize in an essay competition sponsored by a scholastic magazine He took time off from his studies to play on the varsity football team and was for several years the rhythm guitarist in an amateur rock n roll band called the MoonSpinners After he graduated from high school he attended the University of Maine at Orono on a scholarship Majoring
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