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Daniel Keyes
Daniel Keyes
Daniel Keyes
Born (1927-08-09)August 9, 1927
Brooklyn, New York
Died June 15, 2014(2014-06-15) (aged 86)
Boca Raton, Florida
Occupation Fiction writer
Nationality American
Alma mater New York University, Brooklyn College
Period 1952–2014
Genre Science fiction
Notable works Flowers for Algernon (1959)
The Minds of Billy Milligan (1981)
Notable awards Hugo Award (1960)
Nebula Award (1966)
Kurd Lasswitz Award (1986)
Seiun Award (1993)
Locus Award (1998)
Spouse Aurea Georgina Vazquez

Daniel Keyes (August 9, 1927 – June 15, 2014) was an American writer who wrote the 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 New York City, New York. His family was Jewish. He attended New York University briefly before joining the United States Maritime Service at 17, working as a ship's purser on oil tankers. Afterward he returned to New York and in 1950 received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Brooklyn College.

A month after graduation, Keyes joined publisher Martin Goodman's magazine company, Magazine Management. He eventually became an editor of their pulp magazine Marvel Science Stories (cover-dated Nov. 1950 – May 1952) after editor Robert O. Erisman, and began writing for the company's comic-book lines Atlas Comics, the 1950s precursors 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 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.

One story idea Keyes wrote but did not submit to Lee was called "Brainstorm", the paragraph-long synopsis that 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, "something told me it should be more than a comic book script."

From 1955 to 1956, Keyes wrote for EC Comics, including its titles Shock Illustrated and Confessions Illustrated, under both his own name and the pseudonyms Kris Daniels and A.D. Locke.

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. Keyes also won the Hugo Award in 1959 and the Nebula Award in 1966 for the story.

Later career

Keyes taught 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.


Keyes died at his home in Boca Raton on June 15, 2014, due to complications from pneumonia. His wife Aurea Georgina Vazquez, whom he married in 1952, had died in 2013. They had two daughters.




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

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Daniel Keyes para niños

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