Real Life Superhero of the Week: Stephen King

In honor of Halloween, our Real-Life Superhero of the Week is Stephen King! Born in Portland, Maine in 1947 to parents Nellie and Donald, King was raised mostly by his mother as his father abandoned the family in 1949.

The Kings bounced around between Indiana, Connecticut, and Wisconsin before they returned and settled in Maine in 1958. King began writing at an early age. In high school, he wrote stories and sold them to his friends to make money. King went off to the University of Maine and graduated with a B.A. in English in 1970. After college, King began selling short stories to magazines like Cavalier and also worked as a day laborer to support himself.

In 1971, King not only married his college classmate, Tabitha Spruce, but he also got a job teaching at the Hampden Academy in Hampden, Maine. In 1973, Doubleday published King’s debut novel, Carrie. This terrifying tale kickstarted King’s career as a master of horror. And in 1975 he published Salem’s Lot, another iconic piece of work. He completed The Shining in 1977 and in 1978 he completed The Stand. And throughout the 1980s he published Firestarter, Christine, and the The Dark Tower series. The ’70s and ’80s were when King established himself in the horror genre.

King even had an opportunity to collaborate with Marvel and write for a 1975 X-Men comic, Heroes for Hope: Starring the X-Men. It was during this time that King’s addiction to alcohol and drugs became so great that his friends and family staged an intervention for him. Since the late 1980s onward, King has remained drug- and alcohol-free.

Throughout the ’90s, King continued to write and publish books but in 1999 he was struck by a car as he was walking down the shoulder of Route 5 in Lovell, Maine. The crash left him with a broken hip and collapsed lung, causing him to consider retiring from writing. But King persevered and was able to publish his memoir On Writing in 2000.

King remains one of the most prolific horror writers of our time. He’s written 54 novels, the most recent of which, Finders Keepers, was released this past June. With such a lengthy career, it’s no surprise that King has a bevy of awards to his name – most notably the Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Award in 2003, along with a Hugo Award and an O. Henry Award.

But King also has dedicated some of his time to giving back to his community. He donates about $4 million a year to libraries, fire departments, and arts organizations. And along with his wife Tabitha, King raised about $70,000 in 2011 to help families in Bangor, Maine during the winter.

The fact that King was able to find his true calling in life and succeed so magnificently is inspiring in itself. And not only has King written dozens of best-selling novels and collected literary accolades but he has also overcome addiction and injury. Without his determination and force of will, we wouldn’t have his entertaining books to read and the world would definitely be worse off without his charitable contributions. And for that he’s our Real-Life Superhero of the Week.

Enjoyed this? Check out last week’s Superhero Misty Copeland!

Written by Roselyn Sebastian 

Photo Credit: Shane Leonard/StephenKing.com

 

 

 

In honor of Halloween, our Real-Life Superhero of the Week is Stephen King! Born in Portland, Maine in 1947 to parents Nellie and Donald, King was raised mostly by his mother as his father abandoned the family in 1949.

The Kings bounced around between Indiana, Connecticut, and Wisconsin before they returned and settled in Maine in 1958. King began writing at an early age. In high school, he wrote stories and sold them to his friends to make money. King went off to the University of Maine and graduated with a B.A. in English in 1970. After college, King began selling short stories to magazines like Cavalier and also worked as a day laborer to support himself.

In 1971, King not only married his college classmate, Tabitha Spruce, but he also got a job teaching at the Hampden Academy in Hampden, Maine. In 1973, Doubleday published King’s debut novel, Carrie. This terrifying tale kickstarted King’s career as a master of horror. And in 1975 he published Salem’s Lot, another iconic piece of work. He completed The Shining in 1977 and in 1978 he completed The Stand. And throughout the 1980s he published Firestarter, Christine, and the The Dark Tower series. The ’70s and ’80s were when King established himself in the horror genre.

King even had an opportunity to collaborate with Marvel and write for a 1975 X-Men comic, Heroes for Hope: Starring the X-Men. It was during this time that King’s addiction to alcohol and drugs became so great that his friends and family staged an intervention for him. Since the late 1980s onward, King has remained drug- and alcohol-free.

Throughout the ’90s, King continued to write and publish books but in 1999 he was struck by a car as he was walking down the shoulder of Route 5 in Lovell, Maine. The crash left him with a broken hip and collapsed lung, causing him to consider retiring from writing. But King persevered and was able to publish his memoir On Writing in 2000.

King remains one of the most prolific horror writers of our time. He’s written 54 novels, the most recent of which, Finders Keepers, was released this past June. With such a lengthy career, it’s no surprise that King has a bevy of awards to his name – most notably the Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Award in 2003, along with a Hugo Award and an O. Henry Award.

But King also has dedicated some of his time to giving back to his community. He donates about $4 million a year to libraries, fire departments, and arts organizations. And along with his wife Tabitha, King raised about $70,000 in 2011 to help families in Bangor, Maine during the winter.

The fact that King was able to find his true calling in life and succeed so magnificently is inspiring in itself. And not only has King written dozens of best-selling novels and collected literary accolades but he has also overcome addiction and injury. Without his determination and force of will, we wouldn’t have his entertaining books to read and the world would definitely be worse off without his charitable contributions. And for that he’s our Real-Life Superhero of the Week.

Enjoyed this? Check out last week’s Superhero Misty Copeland!

Written by Roselyn Sebastian 

Photo Credit: Shane Leonard/StephenKing.com

 

 

 

  • Comments