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J.K. Rowling Biography

Writers | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

Who is J.K. Rowling?

Joanne Rowling (July 31, 1965), pronounced like rolling, is the well renowned British author of the Harry Potter book series. Story has it that she conceived the idea for the series while on a delayed train traveling from Manchester to London. The Harry Potter series has gained worldwide attention and critical acclaim, and has even been made into a film series by the production house Warner Bros. When publishing her first book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Rowling’s publishers were concerned that young male readers would not read a woman author and urged her to simply use her initial ‘J’. The book was eventually published under the pen name J.K. Rowling because the K made it sound better.

Her Early Life

Joanne was born to Peter James and Anne Rowling in Gloucester, England. From an early age, she was fond of making up stories that she narrated to her sister and grandmother. She attended St. Michael’s Primary school whose headmaster at the time, Alfred Dunn, is said to be the basis for the character Albus Dumbledore in her books. Rowling claims that the precocious character Hermione Granger is moulded after herself and her formative years at Wyedean College and that her old school friend Sean Harris, who owned a turquoise Ford Anglia like in the book, is the basis for the character Ron Weasley.

After graduating with a degree in French and Classics from the University of Exeter, Rowling moved to London to work as a bilingual research assistant for Amnesty International. Although she began work on the Harry Potter series in 1990 the first book wasn’t published until 1997. During the years in between Rowling worked as an English teacher in Portugal where she married the father of her child. After her marriage ended, Rowling moved to Scotland where she decided to spend all her energy writing the first Harry Potter book.

Her Success Story

Rowling did not have an easy time becoming successful. She struggled with rejection as 12 different publishing houses turned down her manuscript. She found the time to write in between being a single parent to her young daughter and found solice in her writing. She was even disuaded by her editor to find a full-time job other than writing to earn money. She proved everyone wrong with the success of her first Harry Potter book.

Charity Work

Inspired by her own humble beginnings, J.K. Rowling started a non-profit organization known as ‘Lumos’, to aid orphaned children and children in trouble to find a loving home.

Because of her humble background, J.K Rowling is committed to the alleviation of poverty. She founded the Children’s High Level group and to raise money for the organisation she auctioned one of seven illustrated hand-written books called Tales of Beedle the Bard, a series of fantasy books referred to in the last installment of the Harry Potter series. Also, Rowling’s mother Anne suffered from complications related to multiple sclerosis, which is why she has donated large sums of money towards the creation of a Center for Regenerative Medicine at Edinburgh University.

What is the longest sentence you can write without a full-stop?

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