| Joanne Rowling
31 July 1965 (age 54)
drama, young adult fiction, tragicomedy, crime fiction
(m. 1992; div. 1995)
J. K. Rowling
Joanne Rowling, born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name J. K. Rowling, is a British author, film producer, television producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist. She is best known for writing the Harry Potter fantasy series, which has won multiple awards and sold more than 500 million copies,becoming the best-selling book series in history. The books are the basis of a popular film series, over which Rowling had overall approval on the scripts and was a producer on the final films. She also writes crime fiction under the name Robert Galbraith.
Born in Yate, Gloucestershire, Rowling was working as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International when she conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series while on a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990.The seven-year period that followed saw the death of her mother, birth of her first child, divorce from her first husband, and relative poverty until the first novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published in 1997. There were six sequels, of which the last, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released in 2007. Since then, Rowling has written five books for adult readers: The Casual Vacancy (2012) and—under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith—the crime fiction Cormoran Strike series, which consists of The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013), The Silkworm (2014), Career of Evil (2015), and Lethal White (2018).
Rowling has lived a “rags to riches” life in which she progressed from living on benefits to being named the world’s first billionaire author by Forbes. However, Rowling disputed the assertion, saying she was not a billionaire. Forbes reported that she lost her billionaire status after giving away much of her earnings to charity but remains one of the wealthiest people in the world. She is the UK’s best-selling living author, with sales in excess of £238 million.The 2019 Sunday Times Rich List estimated Rowling’s fortune at £750 million, ranking her as the joint 191st richest person in the UK. Time named her a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fans. In October 2010, Rowling was named the “Most Influential Woman in Britain” by leading magazine editors. She has supported multiple charities, including Comic Relief, One Parent Families, and Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain, as well as launching her own charity, Lumos.
Honors and Awards
- In 2004, Forbes named Rowling as the first person to become a U.S.-dollar billionaire by writing books, the second-richest female entertainer and the 1,062nd richest person in the world
- Rowling has received honorary degrees from St Andrews University, the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, the University of Exeter, the University of Aberdeen and Harvard University
- In 2009 Rowling was awarded the Légion d’honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy
- 1997: Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, Gold Award for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
- 1998: Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, Gold Award for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- 1998: British Children’s Book of the Year, winner Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
- 1999: Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, Gold Award for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- 1999: National Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year, winner Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- 1999: Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year, winner Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- 2000: British Book Awards, Author of the Year
- 2000: Order of the British Empire, Officer (for services to Children’s literature)
- 2000: Locus Award, winner Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- 2001: Hugo Award for Best Novel, winner Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- 2003: Premio Príncipe de Asturias, Concord
- 2003: Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers, winner Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- 2006: British Book of the Year, winner for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
- 2007: Blue Peter Badge, Gold
- 2008: British Book Awards, Outstanding Achievement
- 2010: Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award, inaugural award winner
- 2011: British Academy Film Awards, Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema for the Harry Potter film series
- In February 2013 she was assessed as the 13th most powerful woman in the United Kingdom by Woman’s Hour and BBC Radio
J.K. ROWLING BOOKS
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.