Stephen King

Stephen King did not wake up one morning and say “I want to be a writer.” He took a step of bravery and courage to begin writing. King is a best-selling author; selling millions of copies around the world. Stephen is telling people to be brave and start something new. “You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will”(King 275). If you have the guts and believe in yourself to do something, you will do it. You have to be strong and willing to go out on a limb. Be brave and do what you normally wouldn’t.

“Stephen King is a…bestselling novelist who made his name in horror and fantasy genres”(Biography). King, born in Portland, Maine, on September 21, 1947. Kinggraduated from the University of Maine, becoming an English teacher. As a child, he was always very ill. While he was sick and stuck at the house for days at a time; he began writing. That was only at the ripe age of seven years old. First, he copied children’s books, then later created his own. At the age of twelve, he was writing science fiction books (those were never published) (Kellman 1347). In high school, King wrote for the school’s newspaper and was also in student government. Stephen published his first short story, “The Glass Floor”, which appeared in Startling Mystery Stories, while still in school (Biography). By his junior year in college, he had completed two novels (Kellman 1347). Also, while attending the University of Maine, he took a job at the Fogler library where he met his soon to be wife, Tabitha (Rob). After graduation in 1970, Stephen took a job in a laundry and wrote stories in his spare time until 1971 (Biography). January 1971, Tabitha and King became newlyweds and they were off to a new life with very little money. The King family lived off of Tabitha’s savings, his job at the laundry, and the little money King would make from selling his short stories (Rob). Later in the fall of 1971, King found a job at Hampton Academy. He began working on a short story which would later become the famously known novel,Carrie. “January 1973, he submitted Carrie to Doubleday.” Doubleday finally bought the book later that March. “May 12, the publisher sold… paperback rights… to New American Library for $400,000.” After that, he quit his teaching job and became a full-time writer (Skibinski).

King has been called the “Master of Mystery” and the “King of Horror.”His books are translated into thirty-three different languages around the world, while being published in thirty-five different countries. In publication, there are over three hundred million copies of his novels (Skibinski). Stephen is well known for his pseudonyms like “John Swithen” and “Richard Bachman”, which he published numerous books under. He posed as those alias’ because he was afraid that people wouldn’t accept more than one book yearly (Biography). Soon after Carrie was published and in stores, King published another novel, Salem’s Lot. It was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. In spring of 1976, Carrie was released as a major motion-picture and soon after, Stephen became the most popular horror writer in the country. Mr. King has dabbled in other genres, like children’s book and e-books. His popularity still remains controversial on what made him most famous. In 1999, Stephen King was hit by a moving vehicle, and nearly killed. He underwent years of surgeries and physical therapy to overcome his injuries (Kellman 1348). “King was…hospitalized with multiple fractures to his right leg and hip, a scalp laceration, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung.” The driver of the van, Bryan Smith, was distracted and began to swerve onto the side of the road. Stephen was thrown over the van, and barely missed a rocky ledge. King was in the hospital for over three weeks and had over five surgeries. Mr. King still cannot walk one-hundred percent (Rob). When he was in the accident, he was in the middle of his memoir On Writing. He continued to finish it after he was stable and out of the hospital, the memoir was later published in 2000. In 2003, he won the National Book Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award. In the same year, he started writing a monthly blog for the magazine, Entertainment Weekly. In 2004, King completed his long series of Dark Tower (Kellman 1348).

Now onto philanthropic opportunities Stephen King, has appeared in which is the real reason he is looked upon as a hero. “In 1992, King gave a donation to build the Mansfield Stadium in Bangor, Maine. The only thing he wanted from it was to be able to see the scoreboard be placed where he can view it while working from his house.”In 2003, he received the National Book Foundation Medal for his contribution to American Letters (Skibinski). He funds mostly in the Maine Community, Education, Libraries, and Arts. “The Steven and Tabitha King Foundation has been established since 1986, and only gives to the Maine community.” Three million dollars are given away annually. Tabitha and King both have given millions to their alma mater. They haven’t only funded the library they met in, but also Charles M. Bailey Library, Portland Library, and the Dyer Library. Stephen, alone, also gives donations to the public schools of Maine. Mr. and Mrs. King support all local emergency services and donate frequently. They have also supported the American Red Cross. Stephen King is against abortion because his father abandoned him and his siblings, and he feels that is what abortion is like, so, they donate a huge sum to Planned Parenthood. King also donated 1.4 million dollars towards a city pool for his hometown and all the families in it (Inside Philanthropy).

Stephen Edwin King grew up with a not-so-perfect lifestyle. He has had his trials and tribulations, like his car accident and not getting his first books published. But, he still continues to do what makes him happy and what helps provide for his family. It doesn't matter how much money he donates, here and there. It is about how he keeps his family happy and gives his children what he didn't have, and a much better lifestyle than his was, growing up. A hero is not all about the money you have, it is about what is in the person's heart, and the selflessness they have for others.