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Stephen King

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Stephen King was born in 1947 in Portland, Maine and is of Scots-Irish ancestry. When King was two years old, his father deserted his family. His mother, Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King, raised King and his adopted older brother David by herself, sometimes under great financial strain. The family moved to Ruth's home town of Durham, Maine but also spent brief periods in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Stratford, Connecticut. King attended Durham Elementary School and Lisbon High School. He grew to stand 6'4" tall.

King has been writing since an early age. When in school, he wrote stories based on movies he had seen recently and sold them to his friends. This was not popular among his teachers, and he was forced to return his profits when this was discovered. The stories were copied using a mimeo machine that his brother David used to copy a newspaper, "Dave's Rag," which he self-published. "Dave's Rag" was about local events, and King would often contribute. At around the age of thirteen, King discovered a box of his father's old books at his aunt's house, mainly horror and science fiction. He was immediately hooked on these genres.

From 1966 to 1971, King studied English at the University of Maine at Orono, Maine. At the university, he wrote a column titled "King's Garbage Truck" in the university magazine. He also met Tabitha Spruce; they married in 1971. King took on odd jobs to pay for his studies, including one at an industrial laundry. He used the experience to write the short story The Mangler. The campus period in his life is readily evident in the second part of Hearts in Atlantis.

After finishing his university studies with a Bachelor of Arts in English and obtaining a certificate to teach high school, King taught English at Hampden Academy in Hampden, Maine. During this time, he and his family lived in a trailer. He wrote short stories (most were published in men's magazines) to help make ends meet. As told in the introduction in Carrie, if one of his kids got a cold, Tabitha would joke, "Come on, Steve, think of a monster". King also developed a drinking problem which stayed with him for over a decade.

During this period, King began a number of novels. One of his first ideas was of a young girl with psychic powers. However, he grew discouraged, and threw it into the trash. Tabitha later rescued it and encouraged

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