Stephen and Tabitha King Slam Media Coverage of their Donation to a Boston Genealogical Group

Yes, I made the same mistake. I simply republished the story as it appeared on the Associated Press story. My apologies. Let’s set the record straight.

Stephen King is upset with the media, again. And so is his wife, Tabitha.

The famous Maine horror novelist took to social media Thursday morning to announce that his “wife is rightly pissed by” the coverage of the couple’s $1.25 million donation to the Boston-based New England Historic Genealogical Society. The complaint came after a number of prominent outlets published an Associated Press story headlined “Stephen King, wife give $1.25M to genealogical society.”

“The gift was her original idea, and she has a name: TABITHA KING,” Stephen wrote.

With eight books to her name, Tabitha is also an accomplished novelist in her own right. She should never be listed simply as “wife.” Not only is she married to Stephen King, she obviously has her own credentials that should be mentioned.

She is indeed a novelist but even more interesting to me is that I have it on very good authority that Tabitha King is also a very serious genealogist and has been researching her own family tree for a long time. I certainly can believe “The gift was her original idea.”

You can learn more about Tabitha King on Wikipedia at:


Good for Stephen King, this “wifey” business has gone on long enough, she deserves the credit and good for him to point that out!


You are gracious to post this. Yes, the ‘and wife’ thing in the media bugs me too.


Good work, Dick. Inspired me to give her a page on Familypedia. Much of it copied from Wikipedia (in accordance with the relevant licenses) but with genealogical extras and more to come. And a link to this article. Her profile gives her TWO husbands named Stephen King but Familypedia will not be perpetuating that error as we display more of her ancestry. She says herself in one reply to a comment “I have more posted at Ancestry than I do on Geni”.


Good for Stephen King! He acknowledges that Tabitha has a separate identity of her own, that she is not chattel property of first her father, then her husband (which – legally – women and children still were in the eyes of the law even into the early 1970s when I was a young woman) and Tabitha doesn’t take her identity or her worthiness as a human being from him, nor does she need to in order to gain her husband’s approval, admiration, or affection. Tabitha is a person in her own right and Stephen acknowledges and respects her as such. It takes a man of real character to do that without the patriarchal caveat “he allows her to do so.” May Tabitha and Stephen continue to live a long and loving life together in mutual respect, admiration, and affection.

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    This practice of women as chattel continued until at least the late 1970s. At the time of my divorce in 1979, I could not establish credit in my own name even though I had worked for many years.


“Tabitha King, and husband, donate…”

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I am doing an inventory of our church’s gifts and memorials and I am stunned at the number of times the giver is entered as “Mrs. John E. Smith” rather than with her name. At first I thought it was a leftover from the late 1800s into the early 1900s but I’m up to the 60s and it’s still there!!

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    Imagine how that would go over Tee Hee:) And to Mary K Freel, it amazes me they can’t use her own name in these things and if they must parethesize the married name..


I think it is more of an artifact of our celebrity culture than it is of our patriarchy. The story would never even have made associated press had it not been linked to someone as famous as Stephen King. The public in general doesn’t care about someone donating to a genealogy society. Stephen King has millions of fans and people are interested in what he does. Same with all the Kardashians nonsense. But I do agree that it is Tabitha that should get the credit.


Maybe she could get Glenn Close to portray her in a movie.


I appreciate your apology to Tabitha King. But I do not completely blame you. The media (in this case – the Assoc. Press) is also to blame. They DID NOT do what they should have done- which was to get “all the facts” first, then publish. I “think” this is a problem, we in at least the USA, have seen currently, way too many times. I will leave that up to others to agree/disagree with me. But the “hurry up & publish or get done” before documenting & getting ALL the facts, is something I’ve noticed in many things in our lives including genealogy. Is that the ‘correct’ way? Probably no, but many entities/people/businesses/etc. do so. What is the answer- I do not know. But I do know that to think before one acts/writes/speaks/etc. is a good idea. I am just giving MY OWN observations. Thank you Mr. Eastman for your dedication


The thing I really noticed is that it states that HE is an author, but not that SHE is also!! She has written many books, yet, not only is she just “the wife” but she has not identity as an author.


The headline on the announcement I received directly from NEHGS was “King Family Makes $1.5 Million Gift to NEHGS.” The opening sentence read “Best-selling author Stephen King and his wife Tabitha have made a gift of $1.25 million to NEHGS through the Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation.“ The rest of the announcement was devoted to a discussion of several important projects the gift is intended to support. Looks to me as if AP wanted to draw attention to the story by featuring Stephen King’s name instead of that of the King Family in the headline, and then decided to shorten the news item by referring to “their foundation” instead of providing the full name of the foundation, and they never stopped to think about how each of these changes robbed Tabitha King of an important part of the credit due to her for her own important role in making the gift happen. The AP also omitted much of the imformation about the ways thevgift will be used.


The worst instance I have come across of not acknowledging a woman’s identity is the Texas death certificate of my husband’s Gt. Grandmother where, on this legal document, she is called “Mrs. Fred B. Luhning” —— nowhere on the form does it provide her real name. And, of course, the indexing has 2 individuals w different death dates – one for each of the couple. The person reporting the death was their daughter. Another ‘official’s error’ to be aware of when searching.


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