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Nene Claire King was born in March 1943 in Melbourne to a Jewish family. Her parents were Lionel Louvain King (died 1996) and Emilie Rebecca Myers (1916–2008) and she has an older brother, Peter (Snowy). She was educated in Melbourne at the Methodist Ladies' College.
King started in a publishing firm and was offered a role in front of the camera in a series of interviews. She froze on-screen, and it was decided that King would be better behind the scenes. After some work in Hong Kong, she came back to Australia and worked on The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
Working as chief reporter on the women's magazine New Idea awakened her love of magazines which eventually drew her into being the editor.
King is credited with turning the circulation of Woman's Day around. When she took the helm as editor, the magazine's circulation was 680,000 and within a short time, the circulation had boosted to over a million, outselling the top magazine, New Idea.
On the edition of 12 June 2007 of Today Tonight on Australia's Channel 7, King revealed she is addicted to prescription medication and has recently been to rehab to cure addictions to illicit drugs.
King has one sibling, her older brother, Peter.
In February 2010, King claimed she was facing ruin after a disastrous falling out with associates was set to cost her more than $1 million. The matter went before Melbourne's County Court in February 2016. On 12 February 2016, an associate was found not guilty of defrauding King.
King has been married three times. In 1993, she married her third husband, Patrick Bowring, a rock journalist and diver. Bowring disappeared while wreck diving in May 1996, a month after King's father Lionel also died. Her mother Emily died in April 2008. King has admitted to using alcohol to "bury" her problems. She also admits to having smoked marijuana.
The former editor of Woman's Day and The Australian Women's Weekly magazines, told The Sunday Telegraph that she faced losing her home to pay her debts. She currently lives in Ballarat, Victoria, and writes a weekly agony aunt column for New Idea.
In June 2013, Australian actor Mandy McElhinney played King in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation television mini-series Paper Giants: Magazine Wars, a sequel to Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo.
- Dow, Steve (15 December 2008). "Hello, I'm Nene King and I'm a drug addict". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- Fitzsimons, Peter (21 April 2004). "Nene King: illustrated edition" (Paperback). HarperCollins Publishers (Australia). p. 496. Retrieved 1 June 2012. ISBN 9780732275679
- Shand, Adam (21 February 2010). "Publishing icon Nene King says she was fleeced by conmen". The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- "Nene King, former Woman's Day editor, allegedly defrauded by friend during mental health, drug battle – By Karen Percy". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
- "Nene King's ex-housemate Colin Hahne found not guilty of defrauding former Woman's Day editor". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 12 February 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- Stephens, Kim (31 May 2013). "Magazine royalty: How Nene King became Packer's cash queen". The Courier. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
- Devlyn, Darren (29 May 2013). "The battle of the gossip queens in Paper Giants: Magazine Wars". The Courier-Mail. News Limited. Retrieved 4 June 2013.