"Flowers for Algernon" is a novel written by Daniel Keyes and published in 1966. The book received critical acclaim despite some backlash for it's representation of sexual themes and is still considered one of the classics of the … [Read more...] about Flowers for Algernon
Daniel Keyes was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 9th, 1927. Keyes briefly attended New York University before enlisting in the United States Maritime Service at the age of seventeen. After the end of World War II, Keyes returned to New York and attended Brooklyn College where he received a bachelor's degree in psychology 1950.
After graduating, Keyes joined the magazine company, Magazine Management where he went on to become an editor of their pulp science fiction magazine, Marvel Science Stories. In the 1950's, he began writing for the company's comic line Atlas comics which later became Marvel comics, one of the most successful comics companies in the world. Keyes became the editor of Atlas comics under the editor-in-chief, Stan Lee.
At this time, Keyes wrote a short story called "Flowers for Algernon" which was later adapted into the full-length novel of the same title. The idea came from a circumstance that arose when Keyes was teaching special needs students English. One of his students asked him if he would be allowed to attend a regular class if he put in a lot of work and became smart. Keyes also saw a dramatic change in one student who regressed greatly after he was removed from routine lessons. The book was a success and was adapted into a major film titled "Charly" in 1968 just two years after it was published. The film won an Academy Award for Best Actor. Keyes won both of the most coveted awards in science fiction writing, The Hugo Award in 1959 and the Nebula Award in 1966 for the book.
In 1966, Keyes began teaching English and Creative Writing at Ohio University where he was later honored as a professor emeritus in the year 2000. Throughout this time, Keyes continued to write and in 1981 he published a successful non-fiction novel called "The Minds of Billy Milligan" which portrays the life of Billy Milligan, the first person in United States history to be acquitted of a major crime by arguing that he had multiple personality disorder.
On June 15th, 2014, Keyes died from complications of pneumonia in his home. He was survived by his two daughters, his wife, Aurea Georgina Vazquez having died the year before.