is the creator and author of the popular
Harry Potter series. With seven official
books published, the Harry Potter series
became popular with both children and
adults. Since the conception and publication
of the first Harry Potter novel, J.K.
Rowling has risen to fame through her
books and the movies based on the series.
As a result of her fame and wealth, Rowling
has also become a philanthropist, donating
money to various charities, including
ones that promote literacy and help children.
Rowling was born on July 31, 1965 to Peter
and Anne Rowling in Gloucestershire, England.
At the age of four Rowling and her family
moved to Winterbourne where she attended
St. Michael's Primary School. Supposedly,
the headmaster at the school, Alfred Dunn,
would later serve as an inspiration to
the character Albus Dumbledore.
JK Rowling was nine, she and her family
moved to Tutshill where she attended Wyedean
School and College for her secondary school
and later attended the University of Exeter
to earn her Bachelors in French and Classics.
After graduation, Rowling found employment
as a bilingual secretary and researcher
with Amnesty International. It was during
this time, in 1990, that Rowling first
came up with the idea for Harry Potter.
According to the author, the idea came
to her while she was waiting for a train
from Manchester to London. When she arrived
at her destination, she began writing.
finishing her employment with Amnesty
International, J.K. Rowling moved to Portugal
to teach English as a foreign language.
While there she met and married Jorge
Arantes with whom she had a daughter,
Jessica. Rowling and Arantes separated
a little over a year into their marriage
and divorced a year and half later.
their separation, Rowling moved to Edinburgh,
Scotland with Jessica so she could be
near her sister. At this point, Rowling
was unemployed and living in a small apartment
in Edinburgh, relying on state benefits
to provide her with food and essentials.
It was during this time that Rowling did
most of her writing, walking her daughter
around the streets until she fell asleep
then hopping into the nearest cafe to
work on her stories.
finished her first book, Harry Potter
and the Philosopher's Stone, in 1995 and
began submitting it to agencies for representation.
Bryony Evans at the Christopher Little
Literary Agents took her as a client and
began submitting it to various publishers.
The book was rejected by all twelve. A
year after finding an agent, Rowling's
book was finally accepted by a small publisher
called Bloomsbury. Rowling received a
small advance and was told to find a day
job instead of relying on children's books
for her career. Shortly thereafter, Rowling
was awarded a grant from the Scottish
Arts Council which she used to continue
her series of stories.
Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was
published and distributed in 1997 with
an initial printing of only one thousand
copies, most of which were sent to libraries.
The book began winning all kinds of awards
including the Nestle Smarties Book Prize,
the British Book Award, and even the Children's
1998 the first editions became available
in the US under the title Harry Potter
and the Sorcerer's Stone. It was published
through the company Scholasitc which had
previously won the bid to distribute it
in the United States. At the time, Bloomsbury
did not have a US branch of their company.
Since the publication of Harry Potter,
they've grown and now publish books in
the US as well as Britain. Scholastic,
however, still owns the rights to publish
Harry Potter in the US.
film rights to Harry Potter were purchasd
in 1998 and the first movie arrived in
theatres in 2001. All seven of the Harry
Potter books will eventually be made into
films, most of them staring the original
her rise to fame, J K Rowling has become
the wealthiest author in the world. She
has also gone to purchase a few homes
in Scotland and London and married her
second husband, Neil Michael Murray in
2001. She and Murray have had one son
and one daughter together.
her worldwide success, Joanne Rowling
was determined to give back to the community
and has been a regular contributor to
numerous charities that help children,
one parent families, and research for
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