Daniel Keyes

Daniel Keyes bigraphy, stories - Novelist, short story writer

Daniel Keyes : biography

August 9, 1927 –

Daniel Keyes (born August 9, 1927) is an American author best known for his Hugo award-winning short story and Nebula award-winning novel Flowers for Algernon. Keyes was given the Author Emeritus honor by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2000.


Early life and career

Keyes was born in Brooklyn, New York City. At age 17, he joined the U.S. Maritime Service as ship’s purser. He obtained a BA in psychology from Brooklyn College, and after a stint in fashion photography (partner in a photography studio), earned a Master’s Degree in English and American Literature at night while teaching English in New York City public schools during the day and writing weekends.

In the early 1950s, he was editor of the pulp magazine Marvel Science Stories (cover-dated Nov. 1950 – May 1952) for editor Robert O. Erisman and publisher Martin Goodman, who also published the comic book lines Timely Comics and Atlas Comics, the 1940s and 1950s precursors, respectively, of Marvel Comics. After Goodman ceased publishing pulps in favor of paperback books and men’s adventure magazines, Keyes became an associate editor of Atlas Comics, under editor-in-chief and art director Stan Lee. Circa 1952, Keyes was one of several staff writers, officially titled editors, who wrote for such horror and science fiction comics as Journey into Unknown Worlds, for which Keyes wrote two stories with artist Basil Wolverton. As Keyes recalled, after Marvel Science Stories ceased publication, Goodman offered him a job under Lee:

One story idea he wrote but did not submit to Lee was called "Brainstorm", the paragraph-long synopsis of which would evolve into Flowers for Algernon. It begins: "The first guy in the test to raise the I.Q. from a low normal 90 to genius level … He goes through the experience and then is thrown back to what was." Keyes recalled, "[S]omething told me it should be more than a comic book script."Keyes, Algernon, Charlie, and I, p.

From 1955–56, Keyes wrote for the celebrated EC Comics, including its titles Shock Illustrated and Confessions Illustrated, at the Grand Comics Database under both his own name and the pseudonyms Kris Daniels, A.D. Locke and Dominik Georg.

Flowers for Algernon

The short story and subsequent novel, Flowers for Algernon, is written as progress reports of a mentally disabled man, Charlie, who undergoes experimental surgery and briefly becomes a genius before the effects tragically wear off. The story was initially published in the April 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and the expanded novel in 1966. The novel has been adapted several times for other media, most prominently as the 1968 film Charly, starring Cliff Robertson (who won an Academy Award for Best Actor) and Claire Bloom. He also won the Hugo Award in 1959 and the Nebula Award in 1966.

Later career

Keyes went on to teach creative writing at Wayne State University, and in 1966 he became an English and creative writing professor at Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio, where he was honored as a professor emeritus in 2000.http://www.ohio.edu/ohiotoday/fall00/departments/wall/algernon.htmlhttp://academic.depauw.edu/aevans_web/HONR101-02/WebPages/Fall2009/Rae/Daniel%20Keyes’s%20Flowers%20for%20Algernon/pages/keyes_biography.htm

A 1988 edition of his novel Flowers for Algernon states he was a member of the English department at Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut, circa that year. This was an error in a special leatherbound collector’s edition.

Keyes’ other books include The Fifth Sally, The Minds of Billy Milligan, The Touch, Unveiling Claudia, and the memoir Algernon, Charlie, and I: A Writer’s Journey.

According to the author’s website a new novel by Daniel Keyes, The Asylum Prophecies, was published in 2009 by Dorchester Publishing.



  • 1960: Hugo Award for the short story Flowers for Algernon (short story)
  • 1966: Nebula Award for the novel Flowers for Algernon (novel)
  • 1986: Kurd Lasswitz Award for The Minds of Billy Milligan
  • 1998: Locus Award, 40th best novel before 1990 for Flowers for Algernon (novel)


  • 1967: Hugo Award for the novel Flowers for Algernon (novel)
  • 1982: Edgar Award for the American Association of Mystery Writers for The Minds of Billy Milligan
  • 1987: Edgar Award for the American Association of Mystery Writers for Unveiling Claudia.