Home Daniel Keyes "Flowers for Algernon"
(the Short Story)
Flowers for Algernon
(the Novel)
(the film)

Keyes Biography

Daniel Keyes

The Inspiration for Charlie Gordon

Daniel Keyes was born in New York on August 9, 1927. Keyes joined the U.S. Maritime Service when he was seventeen. When he returned to civilian life, he recommenced his studies at Brooklyn College as a psychology major, where he received his A.B. degree in 1950. He married his wife, Aurea Georgina Vazquez, in 1952, and had three children several years after. After college he became an associate fiction editor for Marvel Science Fiction under Stan Lee and then had a position as a writer for a fashion photography business. In 1957, he earned his teaching license in the New York City schools and taught English at his old high school. He taugt two advanced Creative Writing courses and two Modified English courses for children considered less bright. In 1959 his claim-to-fame short story "Flowers for Algernon" debuted in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, which he wrote while on a leave of absence from teaching. The following year, "Flowers for Algernon" received the Hugo Award for best science fiction novelette of the year.
He returned to Brooklyn College at night to study English and American literature as a postgraduate. In 1961 he received a M.A. degree, and taught creative writing at Wayne State University. In 1966 he began teaching at Ohio University as a professor of English and Creative Writing. Keyes then expanded his short story into a novel, Flowers for Algernon, which was published in 1966. His novel won the Nebula Award of the Science Fiction Writers of America the same year, and was made into a film version in 1968 called Charly with Cliff Robertson winning an Oscar for Best Actor. Daniel Keyes continues to write nonfiction works and is now retired from Ohio University. He lives in Boca Raton, Florida.



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