J.K. Rowling Biography: Life, Career. Success & Wealth

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Daniel Ogren, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

J.K. Rowling, whose full name is Joanne Rowling, is a British author, best known for creating the Harry Potter series. She was born on July 31, 1965, in Yate, Gloucestershire, England. Her childhood was not an easy one, as her mother suffered from multiple sclerosis and her father was a Rolls-Royce aircraft engineer. However, Rowling’s love of reading and writing led her to pursue a degree in French and Classics at the University of Exeter.

After graduation, Rowling moved to London and worked as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International. It was during a delayed train journey from Manchester to London in 1990 that the idea of Harry Potter came to her. She began writing the first book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” in cafes around the city, and completed it in 1995.

Rowling’s manuscript was initially rejected by several publishers before being picked up by Bloomsbury Publishing in the UK. The book was an instant success, winning numerous awards and becoming the first in a series that would go on to sell over 500 million copies worldwide. The Harry Potter franchise includes seven books, eight movies, a stage play, and a theme park, making Rowling one of the wealthiest authors in the world.

According to Forbes, as of 2021, Rowling’s net worth is estimated to be around $1 billion. Much of her wealth comes from the Harry Potter franchise, which has generated billions of dollars in revenue from book sales, movie tickets, merchandise, and licensing deals. In addition to her writing, Rowling has also been involved in philanthropic efforts, donating millions to various charities, including the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and Lumos, a charity she founded to help children in institutional care around the world.

Despite her immense success, Rowling has also faced controversy and criticism, particularly for her comments regarding transgender rights. Nonetheless, her impact on literature and pop culture is undeniable, and she remains one of the most beloved and influential authors of our time.

Here is a timeline of J.K. Rowling’s life:

  • July 31, 1965: Joanne Rowling is born in Yate, Gloucestershire, England.
  • 1983-1987: Rowling studies French and Classics at the University of Exeter.
  • 1990: While on a delayed train journey from Manchester to London, Rowling comes up with the idea for Harry Potter.
  • 1995: Rowling finishes the manuscript for “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.”
  • 1997: The first Harry Potter book is published by Bloomsbury Publishing in the UK and Scholastic in the US.
  • 1999: “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” is published, becoming the fastest-selling book in UK history.
  • 2000: Rowling marries Neil Murray, a Scottish doctor.
  • 2001-2011: The remaining Harry Potter books are published, and the film adaptations are released.
  • 2012: Rowling publishes her first novel for adults, “The Casual Vacancy.”
  • 2013: Rowling publishes “The Cuckoo’s Calling” under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
  • 2014-2020: More books are published under the Robert Galbraith pseudonym.
  • 2015: Rowling founds Lumos, a charity to help children in institutional care.
  • 2020: Rowling receives backlash for her comments on transgender rights.
  • 2021: Rowling’s net worth is estimated to be around $1 billion, making her one of the wealthiest authors in the world.

5 Interesting Facts about J.K. Rowling:

  1. Rowling is the first person to become a billionaire from writing books.
  2. The name “J.K. Rowling” doesn’t actually include her full name. Her real name is Joanne Rowling, but her publisher asked her to use initials instead of her full name because they thought a female author’s work would not sell as well.
  3. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book on a manual typewriter.
  4. She was once a single mother on welfare before she became a successful author.
  5. Rowling is a huge fan of Jane Austen and named one of her daughters after her.

5 Quotes from J.K. Rowling:

  1. “We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”
  2. “It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
  3. “The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
  4. “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
  5. “I believe in hard work and luck, and that the first often leads to the second.”

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