J. K. Rowling Author and billionaire
The early years
Joanne Kathleen Rowling, a.k.a JK Rowling, the author of the best-selling Harry Potter series of books, was born in 1965, near Bristol, England. Her birthday, July 31, is the same as her famous hero, Harry Potter.
Joanne did well in school. Her favourite subjects were English and foreign languages and she studied French at university. She graduated in 1986 and over the next few years had a variety of jobs. However, her passion was writing. She had written her first story, Rabbit, about a rabbit with measles, aged six.
Harry Potter is born
She started writing the first Harry Potter book in 1990. The idea for Harry – a lonely, 11-year-old orphan who is actually a wizard – came to JK Rowling while she was travelling by train between Manchester and London. Although she left England a short time after that to teach English in Portugal, she continued to write Harry’s story. She returned to Britain in 1993 and settled in Scotland. After a brief marriage in Portugal, she was now divorced, with a baby, Jessica. It was a difficult time – she was out of work and depressed – but finally completed her first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It was published in Britain in 1997 and quickly became a hit with both children and adults.
JK Rowling today
J. K. Rowling has been writing Harry Potter books for nearly 20 years. She writes in longhand, and each book takes one year to complete. She has now completed the series of seven Harry Potter books. The last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, came out in July 2007. Her books have won numerous awards including ‘Children’s Book of the Year’. She married her second husband, Dr. Neil Murray, in 2001, and has since had two more children, a boy, David, born in 2003, and a girl, Mackenzie, born in 2005.
Fans all over the world
The books have been translated into over 60 languages, and over 300 million copies have been sold worldwide. The first six books have been made into films. She has become the highest-earning woman in Britain, richer than the Queen! She has made over £600 million, more than one billion dollars. This makes her the first person ever to have become a billionaire from writing books.