Clive King was born in Richmond, Surrey, in 1924. In 1926, he moved with his parents to Oliver’s Farm in Ash, Kent, on the North Downs, alongside which was an abandoned chalk pit. During his early education at a private infant school, one of the teachers, Miss Brodie, claimed to have taught Christopher Robin Milne (the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh’s Christopher Robin), and introduced Clive to stories about Stone Age people. Thereafter, he attended King’s School, Rochester; Downing College, Cambridge; and the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. From 1943 to 1947, King served in the Royal Navy, voyaging to Iceland, twice to the Russian Arctic, and to India, Sri Lanka, Australia, the East Indies, Malaysia, and Japan, where he observed the ruins of Hiroshima within months of its destruction. Civilian postings as an officer of the British Council took him to Amsterdam, Belfast, Aleppo, Damascus (where he was a visiting professor at the University), Beirut, Dhaka, and Madras (now Chennai). Several of these locales provided material for his nineteen children’s stories, but his best-known book, Stig of the Dump, was written during an educational job in Rye in East Sussex.
King married, divorced, and married again, and has three children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He lives in Norfolk, England.