Joanne Kathleen Rowling was born to two Londoners, Peter and Anne, in 1965 on July 31st
(which was later given as Harry’s birthday). Rowling has a younger sister named Dianne (Di),
who she still remains very close to even through all the tough times they’ve shared.  

After leaving school, she went on to study French at the University of Exeter. She had always
been writing various stories such as tales about a rabbit called Rabbit, much to the amusement
of her younger sister.

The ingenious idea of
Harry Potter hit her while traveling on a train from Manchester to London.  
She remarks that this as the most excited she had ever gotten about an idea, yet the phenomenon
had to wait to be inked as she wasn’t in possession of a pen!  

The ideas enhanced over the journey to reach the characters we are now close to, although she
started writing that very evening the process was later put on hiatus due to the unfortunate
event of her mother’s death from Multiple Sclerosis, a vicious disease that attacks the brain and
spinal cord. This event had a dramatic impact on some of the events throughout the series. For
example, her escape to Portugal became the inspiration for the Mirror of Erised chapter in
Philosopher’s Stone.

During her period in Portugal, she met and married a Portuguese man and though it ended in
divorce shortly after they were blessed with their lovely daughter, Jessica, born in 1993.  Later
the next year, Jo and Jessica moved to Edinburgh, Scotland to be near Di.

August 1996 marked the end of a struggle to find a publisher as Bloomsbury had made an offer
on the manuscript. This marked the beginning of great things to come.

Rowling went on to release
Chamber of Secrets (1999), Prisoner of Azkaban (2000) and Goblet of Fire
(2001) before the film industry became aware of the power of these books. To date there have
been all seven books released with 5 out of these 7 released in film format. All the films have
been massive hits, beating many records such as in the US,
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
was shown on 8,200 screens and made an estimated $93.5 million.  

Rowling has stated she always planned there to be seven novels to the series, but due to the
great success much speculation remains as to whether or not she will stick to this. In 2001,
Rowling targeted her writing efforts towards two books taken from the heart of the
Harry Potter
series itself,
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages of which all
proceeds went to Comic Relief.

This is just one example of Rowling’s generosity. Many charities have benefited from her
kindness; her main focus is the Multiple Sclerosis Society as this has a personal connection for
her. Rowling is currently working with the government to secure safe orphanages over seas in
The Children’s Voice campaign, an organization she co-founded.  

The Tales of Beedle the Bard had a significant role in her last novel Harry Potter and the Deathly
Hallows and in 2007 it became a reality. Only seven copies were produced of the small book of
fairy tales, all handwritten and illustrated by Rowling herself. With the release of another work
for charity taken from within the realm of her hit series, Rowling raised £1,950,000 with the sale
of just one of the elusive seven!

To view Amazon’s copy of the book they won at the Sotheby’s auction, visit: www.amazon.co.
uk/beedlebard.

Once on welfare, the single-mother overcame great odds, depression and reluctant publishers to
produce one of the biggest worldwide best sellers in history. Through the continued success of
the
Harry Potter phenomenon, Rowling has accomplished many wonderful things: raising
millions for charity, meeting and marrying Neil Murray in 2006, and having two more children,
David and Mackenzie. Though her life is certainly full and hopefully very happy, we can only
hope for more from this amazing author in the future!
Honors and Awards:
JKR at the Pride of Britain Awards 2007
    Vital Stats:
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Full Name:
    Joanne Kathleen Rowling

Nickname:
    JKR, JK, Jo, Rowling

Date of Birth:
    31 July 1965

Place of Birth:
    Yate, Gloucestershire, England

Siblings:
    1, younger
    Biography:
    Honors and Awards:
  • 1997    Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Gold Award)
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • 1998    British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year   
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • 1998    Carnegie Medal   (shortlist)   
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • 1998    Children's Book Award   
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • 1998    Guardian Children's Fiction Prize   (shortlist)   
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • 1998    Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Gold Award)   
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • 1998    Primo Centro per la Letteratura Infantile (Italy)   
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • 1998    Sheffield Children's Book Award   
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • 1998    Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award (shortlist)
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • 1998    Young Telegraph Paperback of the Year Award   
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • 1999    British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year   
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • 1999    Children's Book Award   
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • 1999    Guardian Children's Fiction Prize   (shortlist)   
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • 1999    Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Gold Award)   
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • 1999    Prix Sorciere (France)   
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • 1999    Scottish Arts Council Children's Book of the Year
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • 1999    Sheffield Children's Book of the Year    (shortlist)   
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • 1999    Whitbread Children's Book Award   
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • 2000    Carnegie Medal   (shortlist)   
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • 2000    Children's Book Award   (shortlist)   
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • 2000    Guardian Children's Fiction Prize   (shortlist)   
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • 2000    Sheffield Children's Book of the Year    (shortlist)   
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • 2001    Children's Book Award   (shortlist)   
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • 2003    British Book Awards Book of the Year    (shortlist)
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • 2003    WH Smith People's Choice Award   
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • 2006    British Book Awards Book of the Year   
    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • 2006    Royal Mail Award for Scottish Children's Books
    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • 2008    South Bank Show Outstanding Achievement in the Arts
    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
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