J K Rowling (1965 – )

Joanne Kathleen Rowling (born July 31, 1965), commonly known as JK Rowling, is a British fiction writer.

Rowling is most famous for being the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series.

Rowling's books have gained international attention and have won multiple awards. In February 2004, Forbes magazine estimated her fortune as £576 million, making her the first person to become a billionaire (in terms of U.S. dollars) by writing books. Rowling is also the wealthiest woman in the United Kingdom, well ahead of even Queen Elizabeth II.

She was born in Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire.

As her publisher, Bloomsbury, wanted to use initials on the cover of the Harry Potter books (suggesting that if they put an obviously female name on the cover, the target group of young boys might be reluctant to buy them), Rowling chose to adopt her grandmother's middle name, Kathleen.

Rowling wrote two novels for adults (neither of which she tried to publish) before she had the idea for Harry Potter during a four-hour train trip. According to her, by the time she reached her destination she had the characters and a good part of the plot for Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone in her head. She started writing during her lunch hours and continued working on the manuscript throughout a stint in Portugal teaching English as a second language. After her marriage to Portuguese television journalist Jorge Arantes failed, she returned to the United Kingdom with her infant daughter and completed the book in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The book was a huge success, and she has so far had four sequels published. The sales made her a multi-millionaire, and in 2001 she used the proceeds to buy a luxurious 19th century mansion on the banks of the River Tay in Perthshire, Scotland, where she married her second husband, Dr. Neil Murray, on December 26th, 2001.

Soon after the fourth book was published, she published two booklets for Comic Relief, supposedly Harry Potter's school-books, whose royalties went to charity. She has contributed a large amount of money and support to many charitable causes over the world, especially research and treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, from which her mother died in 1990.

The Harry Potter series ran for seven volumes, one for each year Harry spends in school. Numerous side books have been published: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, The Tales Of Beedle the Bard, Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists, Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, and Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide. 

Books by J K Rowling