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The Nicest Things Stephen King Has Said About His Wife, Tabitha

Updated April 25, 2019 5.6k votes 1.2k voters 61.5k views10 items

List RulesVote up the sweetest things Stephen King has said about his wife.

From F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald to Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, from Allen Ginsburg and Peter Orlovsky to Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin, there is no shortage of great literary couples. But one of the most heartwarming and enduring of our time has got to be horror maestro Stephen King and novelist Tabitha King. The two have been married since 1971, and they have three children - Owen and Joe are also writers, while Naomi is a minister - and four grandchildren. Tabitha was an early supporter of her husband's work, toiling away at Dunkin' Donuts so he could have the time and space to write. And while Stephen may be the more famous King, Tabitha is an accomplished writer in her own right. She's penned eight novels, two works of nonfiction, several volumes of poetry and short stories, and a screenplay. 

Over the years, the two have never shied away from expressing their abiding respect and admiration for one another. Let's take a closer look at some of the nicest things Stephen King has said about Tabitha.

  • 1

    He Called Out Sexist Headlines About Her

    After the Kings made a sizable contribution to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, headlines around the world referred to the donation as made by "Stephen King and wife." This did not sit well with either Stephen or Tabitha. Stephen posted on Twitter:

    My wife is rightly pissed by headlines like this: 'Stephen King and his wife donate $1.25M to New England Historic Genealogical Society.' The gift was her original idea, and she has a name: TABITHA KING.

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  • 2

    He Credited Her As Inspiration In His National Book Awards Ceremony Speech

    When Stephen was given a lifetime achievement honor from the National Book Awards in 2003, he used the opportunity to discuss the important role Tabitha has played in his life and work. He said, in part:

    Tabby always knew what I was supposed to be doing, and she believed that I would succeed at it. There is a time in the lives of most writers when they are vulnerable, when the vivid dreams and ambitions of childhood seem to pale in the harsh sunlight of what we call the real world. In short, there's a time when things can go either way. That vulnerable time came for me during 1971 to 1973... It never crossed her mind to [tell me to stop writing and get a regular job]...

    (The audience applauds.)

    I hope you know, Tabby, that they're clapping for you and not for me.

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  • 3

    He Praised Her For Starting His Writing Career

    During the writing of Carrie, Stephen got frustrated and threw away the few pages he'd written. Tabitha salvaged them from the trash and encouraged him to continue. He remembers in On Writing:

    I did three single-spaced pages of a first draft, then crumpled them up in disgust and threw them away… The next night, when I came home from school, Tabby had the pages. She’d spied them while emptying my waste-basket, had shaken the cigarette ashes off the crumpled balls of paper, smoothed them out, and sat down to read them. She wanted me to go on with it, she said. She wanted to know the rest of the story. I told her I didn’t know jack-sh*t about high school girls. She said she’d help me with that part. She had her chin tilted down and was smiling in that severely cute way of hers. 'You’ve got something here,' she said. 'I really think you do.'

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  • 4

    He Welcomes Tabitha's Feedback Because It Comes From A Place Of Love

    In a speech to Washington, DC, high school students, Stephen talked about how he welcomes Tabitha's criticism because he knows it comes from a loving place. There is no jealousy or rivalry between the two writers; they hold one another up and are invested in the other's work. "We always saw ourselves as parents first, lovers first, husband first, wife first... the first thing that comes here is love," he explained.

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