Richard Matheson was born on February 20, 1926 in Allendale, New Jersey. He was eight when his stories appeared in a local newspaper, the Brooklyn Eagle. He served during World War II. He received a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in 1949. In 1950 he first was noticed as an upcoming writer-to-watch, starting with the short story Born of Man and Woman. He wrote numerous novels and short stories during his lifetime including I am Legend, The Shrinking Man, What Dreams May Come, and Hell House. He won the World Fantasy Convention's Life Achievement Award, the Bram Stoker Award for Life Achievement, the Hugo Award, the Golden Spur Award, and the Writer's Guild Award. He also was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010. When Hollywood approached him for the rights to his novel The Shrinking Man, he negotiated the chance to write the screenplay. This began a long career in screenwriting and adapting. He wrote the screenplay for Steven Spielberg's Duel and 16 episodes of the television series The Twilight Zone. He won an Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1973 for The Night Stalker. He died on June 23, 2013 at the age of 87.
Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine, on September 21, 1947. After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Maine at Orono in 1970, he became a teacher. His spare time was spent writing short stories and novels. King's first novel would never have been published if not for his wife. She removed the first few chapters from the garbage after King had thrown them away in frustration. Three months later, he received a $2,500 advance from Doubleday Publishing for the book that went on to sell a modest 13,000 hardcover copies. That book, Carrie, was about a girl with telekinetic powers who is tormented by bullies at school. She uses her power, in turn, to torment and eventually destroy her mean-spirited classmates. When United Artists released the film version in 1976, it was a critical and commercial success. The paperback version of the book, released after the movie, went on to sell more than two-and-a-half million copies. Many of King's other horror novels have been adapted into movies, including The Shining, Firestarter, Pet Semetary, Cujo, Misery, The Stand, and The Tommyknockers. Under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, King has written the books The Running Man, The Regulators, Thinner, The Long Walk, Roadwork, and Rage. King is one of the world's most successful writers, with more than 100 million copies of his works in print. Many of his books have been translated into foreign languages, and he writes new books at a rate of about one per year. In 2003, he received the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In 2012 his title, The Wind Through the Keyhole made The New York Times Best Seller List. King's title's Mr. Mercedes and Revival made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2014.