Stephen King Net Worth: Stephen King is an American contemporary horror and supernatural fiction writer who has sold over 400 million copies of his materials, making him one of America’s most successful authors. With a career that spans over 5 decades, Stephen King has earned over $450 million from his works.
A plethora of his books has been adapted into movies, most notably “The Shining”, “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Carrie”. He also publishes under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. One of the world’s highest paid authors, King’s annual earnings can peak as high as $45 million. His net worth is estimated at over $400 million. Here is all you need to know about Stephen King’s career and wealth.
Stephen King Net Worth: How He Started
Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947, in Portland, Maine. Young Steve at the age of 2 was left to the sole care of his mother after his father abandoned the family. His mother managed through hardscrabble jobs to fend for him and his older brother, David.
As a teenager, King became a frequent reader of Entertainment Comic’s horror fiction and began writing his own books for fun. He soon began publishing his works in his brother’s newspaper known as Dave’s Rag. His first independently published book was titled “I Was a Teenage Grave Robber.” King won his first of many accolades as a teenager. It was a Scholastic Art and Writing Award.
After graduating from Lisbon High school, King worked a number of menial jobs including as a gas pump attendant and janitor to afford college tuition. He attended the University of Maine where he wrote a column titled Steve King’s Garbage Truck for the school newspaper. King graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
Fresh out of college and without a job, King began earning from selling short stories to men’s magazines. He also began working on ideas for novels. A year later in 1971, King married his wife Tabitha Spruce and landed a teaching job at Hampden Academy, Maine. His salary was $6,400.
Stephen King Net Worth: For His First Novel Carrie, he was paid $400,000
King began writing his first novel, Carrie in the early 1970s. Discouraged by its slow progress, King abandoned the manuscript in a trash can but resumed writing following encouragement from his wife. In 1973, The book was accepted by publishing house Doubleday and he received $2,500 upfront pay. He was later paid $400,000 for the rights to publish the book.
Also in 1973, King who was 26 years old at the time was paid just $2,500 for the rights to adapt the book into a movie. Released in 1976 with a budget of $1.8 million, Carrie grossed almost $34 million at the box office. The movie became one of the few horror movies to be nominated for multiple Academy Awards.
Decades later, Stephen King continues to earn royalties from Carrie. A sequel to the first movie was released in 1999, a TV film was released in 2002 and a remake was released in 2013.
Stephen King Net Worth: Other Successful Works
Since his breakthrough with Carrie, King has never looked back. As a matter of fact, none of his subsequent books has ever been out of print. He continued his success with books like; Salem’s Lot (1975), The Shining (1977), Firestarter (1980), Cujo (1981) and IT (1986).
An incredibly prolific writer, (he sets a target of reaching at least 1000 words every day!) King out of concern that the public won’t accept two books in a year from an author, chose to pen under the pseudonym, Richard Bachman. In 1996, HBO paid $1.5 million for the rights to his novel “Rose Madder”
Some other successful movies based on his works include; Misery (1990), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), and more. King has also starred in some of the movies adapted from his books.
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Stephen King Net Worth: Earnings By The Year
For the first time, Forbes tallied Steve’s earnings in 1999 estimating his annual earnings at $40 million. Part of the earnings was from his memoir “On Writing” which was published in 2000. He surfaced on Forbes list in 2008 with annual earnings of $45 million.
In 2011, Universal Pictures canceled their plan to adapt King’s book series “Dark Tower”. Regardless, he still went home with $28 million in annual earnings. Stephen King has since then been a regular on the Forbes list. Between 2012 and 2016, King amassed a cumulative pretax earning of over $110 million.
FACTS ABOUT STEPHEN KING
In his early life, King alongside his single mother and brother, David lived in numerous states including De Pere, Wisconsin, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Stratford, Connecticut, before returning to Durham, Maine at the age of 11.
As a young child, Steve witnessed the death of a close friend who was hit by a train. While he had no memory of the event, commentators speculate that the early experience may have psychologically inspired his dark works. Stephen himself has never made mention of the experience, avoiding it in his 2000 autobiography “On Writing.”
While writing the above autobiography in 1999, King was involved in an accident that left him with broken legs and hip. He underwent 5 surgeries in 10 days. King’s lawyers purchased the van that hit him at $1,500. The van was destroyed at a junkyard before King had the chance to fulfill his plans of smashing it with a sledgehammer.
King is not only good with the pen but also with the guitar and with his voice. Together with fellow literary stars like Barbara Kingsolver, Amy Tan and Dave Barry, he sings in a band called Rock Bottom Remainders. Proceeds of their shows are donated to charitable causes.
He is a Democrat. He supported Barack Obama and greatly opposes Donald Trump. During the 2016 race to the white house, King frequently took to his Twitter account to tongue-lash the real estate billionaire.
After his mom’s death in 1974, shortly after the release of Carrie, King became an alcoholic.
He is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox.
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