Stine was born on October 8, 1943 in Columbus, Ohio, the son of Lewis Stine, a shipping clerk, and Anne Feinstein. He grew up in Bexley, Ohio. He comes from a Jewish family. Stine began writing at age nine, when he found a typewriter in his attic, subsequently beginning to type stories and joke books. According to the documentary Tales from the Crypt: From Comic Books to Television, R.L. Stine said that he remembered reading the popular/infamous Tales from the Crypt comic books when he was young and credited as one of his inspirations. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. While at OSU, R. L. Stine edited the OSU humor magazine The Sundial for three out of his four years there. He later moved to New York City to pursue his career as a writer.
Stine wrote dozens of humor books for kids under the name Jovial Bob Stine and created the humor magazine Bananas.Bananas was written for teenagers and published by Scholastic Press for 72 issues between 1975 and 1984, plus various "Yearbooks" and paperback books. Stine was editor and responsible for much of the writing (other contributors included writers Robert Leighton, Suzanne Lord and Jane Samuels and artists Sam Viviano, Samuel B. Whitehead, Bob K. Taylor, Bryan Hendrix, Bill Basso, and Howard Cruse). Recurring features included "Hey – Lighten Up!", "It Never Fails!", "Phone Calls", "Joe" (a comic strip by John Holmstrom), "Phil Fly", "Don't You Wish...", "Doctor Duck", "The Teens of Ferret High", "First Date" (a comic strip by Alyse Newman), and "Ask Doctor Si N. Tific".
In 1989, Stine started writing Fear Street books. Before launching the Goosebumps series, Stine authored three humorous science fiction books in the Space Cadets series titled Jerks in Training, Bozos on Patrol, and Losers in Space. In 1992, Stine and Parachute Press went on to launch Goosebumps.
In 2014, Stine brought the Fear Street books back with his novel Party Games (ISBN978-1250066220). The release of the Fear Street novel Give Me a K-I-L-L took place in 2017 (ISBN978-1250058966). Jack Black portrayed a fictionalized version of Stine in the 2015 film Goosebumps, while Stine himself made a cameo appearance in the film, playing a teacher named "Mr. Black". In the film's sequel, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018), Stine had another cameo, as Principal Harrison, while Black reprised his role as Stine in several scenes. A Fear Street trilogy of films was released by Netflix in 2021.
In 2019, Stine appeared on an episode of the children's TV series Arthur. In "Fright Night," which aired in the 23rd season of the show, Stine voices Bob Baxter, the uncle of main character Buster Baxter. In the episode, Bob is shown to moonlight as a writer of scary stories, alluding to his real-life career as the author of the Goosebumps series.
Awards and recognition
According to Forbes List of the 40 best-paid Entertainers of 1996–97, Stine placed 36th with an income of $41 million for the fiscal year. His books have sold over 400 million copies worldwide as of 2008, landing on many bestseller lists. In three consecutive years during the 1990s, USA Today named Stine as America's number one best-selling author.
On June 22, 1969, Stine married Jane Waldhorn, an editor and writer who later co-founded Parachute Press in 1983. The couple's only child, Matthew (born June 7, 1980), works in the music industry.
This article contains a list of works that does not follow the Manual of Style for lists of works (often, though not always, due to being in reverse-chronological order) and may need cleanup. Please improve this article if you can. (August 2012)
Indiana Jones and the Ape Slaves of Howling Island
Find Your Fate Junior: Golden Girl
Golden Girl and the Vanishing Unicorn
Wizards, Warriors and You
The books followed the standard Choose Your Own Adventure formula, but also featured "flagged" choices that were determined by choices earlier in the book. (For example, "If you already have the Unfathomable Pocket of Crowden, turn to page 65; otherwise, turn to page 78.") The books attempted to introduce a further "role-playing game-like" element with the inclusion of randomization to determine events such as the outcome of a battle or success of a spell. These RPG-like elements were designed for young readers, and were thus very simple, as opposed to the complex mechanics of the teen-oriented Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf series of gamebooks.