Today, Stephen King, horror expert extraordinaire, celebrates. With over 50 novels and hundreds of short stories and non-fiction works to his credit, Stephen King holds such a special place in the literary world that he’s a household name. On 10 September, 2014, President Obama presented him with the NEA’s National Medal of Arts. Not a bad birthday gift, eh? Born in 1947 in Scarborough, Maine and raised by a self-sufficient mother, Stephen King credits his wife, Tabitha, for the completion of his first novel, Carrie. (He had thrown the beginning into the trash. Tabitha retrieved it and encouraged her husband to complete it.) His works have seen adaptions for big and little screen. He’s even acted within some of the adaptations. He published several works under the pen name Richard Bachman. Stephen King’s garnered prestigious awards and encouraged new writers. He said, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
“Nothing leads so straight to futility as literary ambitions without systematic knowledge,” said another literary great. Also born on this day in 1866 was H.G. Wells, the Father of Futurism and Science Fiction. Herbert George Wells published such brilliant works as The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds. Hundreds of essays, articles, nonfiction works joined this Londoner’s expansive body of fiction works. His writing explored issues of social class and economic disparity and predicted the rise of major cities and development of suburbs, economic globalization, and military conflict. Many of his tales inspired theatrical and silver screen productions. Most famous was the 1938 presentation of War of the Worlds by Orson Welles that inspired panic throughout America. HG Wells died 13 August, 1946.
Also born today were Chuck Jones of Bug Bunny fame (The Warner Brothers Halloween specials bring macabre glee to many) and Ghost buster Bill Murray.