I don't know for sure how many times it was rejected - every source quotes a different figure - but it seems safe to say quite a few.
So here are a few more famous rejections to give you heart if you've ever been on the receiving end of I'm-afraid-your-book-doesn't fit-into-our-list kind of letter.
CARRIE by Stephen King
King received 30 rejections for his story of a tormented girl with telekinetic powers, and then he threw it away – his wife found it and persuaded him to keep on trying.GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell
Rejected by 38 publishers before it was printed. The 1939 film is the highest grossing Hollywood film of all time (adjusted for inflation).
LORNA DOONE by Richard Blackmore
Turned down 18 times before being published in 1889.(Made up name by the way, just as Jonathan Swift invented Vanessa and Wendy in Peter Pan was the very first of her kind.)
DUNE by Frank Herbert
The epic science-fiction story was rejected by 23 publishers
LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding was rejected by 20 publishers.
The DR SEUSS books 15 publishers denied themselves the chance of becoming very rich.
And James Patterson's first efforts were rejected by nearly 50 publishers. He is believed to have sold more books than any other author - that's an estimated 260 million copies worldwide.