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J.K. Rowling Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (62) | Personal Quotes (14)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 31 July 1965Yate, Gloucestershire, England, UK
Birth NameJoanne Rowling
Nicknames Jo
JKR
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Joanne Rowling was born in Yate, near Bristol, a few miles south of a town called Dursley ("Harry Potter"'s Muggle-family). Her father Peter Rowling was an engineer for Rolls Royce in Bristol at this time. Her mother, Anne, was half-French and half-Scottish. They met on a train as it left King's Cross Station in London. Her sister Diana is about 2 years younger than Joanne. In 1971, Peter Rowling moved his family to the nearby village of Winterbourne (still in the Bristol vicinity). During the family's residence in Winterbourne, Jo and Di Rowling were friends with neighborhood children, Ian and Vikki Potter. In 1974, the Rowling family moved yet again, this time to Tutshill, near the Welsh border-town of Chepstow in the Forest of Dean and across the Severn River from the greater Bristol area. Rowling admits to having been a bit of a daydreamer as a child and began writing stories at the age of six. After leaving Exeter University, where she read French and Classics, she started work as a teacher but daydreamed about becoming a writer. One day, stuck on a delayed train for four hours between Manchester and London, she dreamed up a boy called "Harry Potter". That was in 1990. It took her six years to write the book. In the meantime, she went to teach in Portugal, married a Portuguese television journalist, had her daughter, Jessica, divorced her husband and returned to Britain when Jessica was just three months old. She went to live in Edinburgh to be near her sister, Di. Her sudden penury made her realize that it was "back-against-the-wall time" and she decided to finish her "Harry Potter" book. She sent the manuscript to two agents and one publisher, looking up likely prospects in the library. One of these agents that she picked at random based on the fact that she liked his name, Christopher Little, was immediately captivated by the manuscript and signed her on as his client within three days. During the 1995-1996 time-frame, while hoping to get the manuscript for "Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone" published, Rowling worked as a French teacher in Edinburgh. Several publishers turned down the manuscript before Bloomsbury agreed to purchase it in 1996.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: van_whistler@hotmail.co.uk

Spouse (2)

Neil Murray (26 December 2001 - present) (2 children)
Jorge Arantes (16 October 1992 - 30 November 1993) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (62)

Graduated from Exeter University.
Is a former English teacher.
She writes all of her books in longhand, rather than with a computer.
Her book, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire", was the top-selling book of 2000, with 7 million hardcovers sold.
When the first "Harry Potter" novel was published, the publisher asked her to use initials rather than her first name, because boys would be biased against a book written by a woman. Since she only had one given name, they then asked her to make up another initial; she took "K." from her favorite grandmother, Kathleen.
She was awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2000 Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honors List for her services to literature and received it from one of her fans, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.
In 2002, she was sued for plagiarism in the District Court of the Southern District of New York by Pennsylvania-based author Nancy Stouffer, who claimed that J.K. Rowling had lifted ideas from her 1984 book "The Legend of Rah and Muggles", which includes a character called "Larry Potter". However, the case against J.K. Rowling was dismissed on 19 September 2002, when the judged ruled that Ms. Stouffer had lied to the court and doctored evidence to support her claims.
Is one of only two contemporary authors to have a novel spend more than a year on both the New York Times hardcover and paperback best-seller lists, the other author being Nicholas Sparks.
As of November 2002, the year and month of the second "Harry Potter" movie (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)) being released, her franchise of books have currently sold over 175,000,000 copies and printed in over 200 languages to become the biggest and fastest selling novels ever.
On 3 April 2003, she and Time Warner successfully sued Dutch publishing company Byblos in the Amsterdam High Court. This prevented Byblos from publishing Russian author Dmitry Yemets' novel "The Magic Double Bass", which features girl wizard "Tanya Grotter". It was deemed to plagiarize Rowling's novel "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" and to infringe upon her copyright.
The fifth book in the Harry Potter series, entitled "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", was published on June 21 2003. It was approximately 896 pages long, containing 38 chapters and over 255,000 words, making it her longest "Harry Potter" book yet. The first U.S. printing was 8.5 million copies, an American publishing record.
In 2003 unauthorized Chinese-language "sequels" to the "Harry Potter" series appeared for sale in the People's Republic of China. These poorly-written books, by Chinese ghost writers, contain characters from the works of other authors, including Gandalf from J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" and the title character from L. Frank Baum's "The Wizard of Oz". Rowling's lawyers successfully took legal action against the publishers, who were forced to pay damages.
She is a big fan of the rock band The Smiths and in 2003, she appeared on the Channel Four documentary The Importance of Being Morrissey (2002).
Is a huge fan of "Monty Python" and claims to put some of their humor into her books. Two apparent references to the "Monty Python" sketch "Crunchy Frog" can be found in her "Harry Potter" books: two of the sweets are a chocolate frog, and a cockroach cluster. "Monty Python" member John Cleese appears in the films.
One of her favorite movies is The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), which was written and directed by "Harry Potter" screenwriter Steve Kloves.
On July 7, 2004, she received an honorary degree from Edinburgh University, in recognition of the Potter books and her outstanding contribution to children's literature.
Character names in her books are often clues to their identities or secrets. For example, Professor Remus Lupin is a werewolf. According to myth, Romulus and Remus were the founders of Rome and were raised by wolves. His last name, Lupin, is derived from the Latin lupus, for wolf, and the English adjective lupine, meaning wolf-like. Lupin was converted into a werewolf by Fenrir Greyback, whose name is taken from Fenrir, the monstrous wolf son of Loki in Norse mythology. (His alias, Fenrisulfr, was the basis for Fenris Ulf, the American name for Maugrim in C.S. Lewis's "Chronciles of Narnia".) Sirius Black, who turns into a black dog, is named for the star Sirius, which can be found in the constellation Canis Major - the big dog.
Whilst at University she had little money so, for friends' birthdays, she wrote them personal little stories.
After spending six years writing the first installment of her "Harry Potter" novels, Rowling was rejected by 9 publishers before London's Bloomsbury Publishing signed her on.
The day she signed her contract for the first "Harry Potter" novel, the publishing representative told her she would not make any money selling children's books.
Originally wrote "Harry Potter" to pay off her gas bills while living in a tiny flat with her baby daughter.
Although she incorporates characteristics of people she knows into "Harry Potter" characters, she says that the character "Gilderoy Lockhart" is the only character she purposely based on someone she knew. She would not say who she based the character on, only that it was not her ex-husband, and that whoever it was is probably so ignorant and so narcissistic, that he is probably claiming either to be the basis for "Albus Dumbledore", or the real author of the "Harry Potter" books.
Claims her first audience for "Harry Potter" was her daughter, to whom she would read parts of the story that she wrote as a bedtime story.
Owns two properties in the Perthshire and Edinburgh areas of Scotland. In 2003, she hired a former SAS officer as her bodyguard to patrol her Perth home and protect her family.
Was almost barred from boarding a plane from the U.S. to the U.K. when airport security personnel demanded that her manuscript for her final book be screened or placed in her checked luggage. Rowling refused to give up the manuscript, which was bound with rubber bands.
December 21, 2006: Announced that the last "Harry Potter" book will be titled "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows".
Finished writing the final book in the fantasy franchise three weeks ago - and marked the occasion by leaving graffiti in a Scottish hotel. Eagle-eyed guests at the five-star Balmoral Hotel spotted a line from the best-selling author scrawled in black pen on the back of a marble bust in a room Rowling occupied. She wrote, "J.K. Rowling finished writing Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows in this room (652) on Jan 11th 2007."
Is an avid train buff.
Like her hero, she now lives in a castle.
Based Hermione on herself.
Is the first author billionaire, according to Forbes magazine, 2006.
Was #2 on the 'Celebrity Forbes List: Who Made Bank?' of 2006, making her the second richest woman behind Oprah Winfrey.
In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated her earnings for the year to be $32 million.
Her hero is Robert F. Kennedy.
Ranked #14 in the 2008 Telegraph's list "the 100 most powerful people in British culture".
Ranked #9 in the 2008 Forbes The Celebrity 100 list.
In the special double issue of Time magazine (Dec. 31, 2007), she was a runner-up at #3 as "Person of the Year" after political leaders Vladimir Putin #1 and Al Gore #2.
To date (Summer 2011), she is the best-selling author in the history of literature. She is the first author to become a billionaire from writing books.
It should not be surprising that Stephen King is one of her biggest fans. Not only are they both best-selling authors of supernatural stories, they were also both schoolteachers before becoming successful writers.
The 2009 Sunday Times List estimated her net worth at $817 million.
Her Harry Potter books have appealed to both children and adults. To help attract both audiences, her British hardcover publisher actually releases each of the books with two different dust jackets. One features a realistic picture or photograph of an element of the story, designed to appeal to adults. The other features a comic-book like illustration of a scene from the story, designed to appeal to children.
Stephen King reviewed all of her books for the New York Times Review of Books.
(November 11, 2010) During the course of a brief interview in London's West End just prior to the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), she revealed that, of all the film adaptations of her books, this was her all-time and personal favorite.
Director David Yates and writer Steve Kloves have both worked on adaptations of her Harry Potter books; working together on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011). Their collaboration has been so fruitful that their next project together is The Stand. This will be based on the novel by Stephen King, who is one of Rowling's biggest American fans.
With earnings of £560m, Rowling ranked #148 of the 1,000 richest people in the UK's The Sunday Times "Rich List" annual magazine supplement (2012).
Mother Anne died of multiple sclerosis before ever having had the opportunity to enjoy the monumental success of daughter Joanne's Harry Potter books and movies. In honor of her memory and the circumstances of her death, Joanne contributed £10m to the "Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic" at Edinburgh University, Scotland.
Severus Snape is believed to have been based on John Lawrence Nettleship, a Chemistry teacher at Wyedean School in Gloucestershire. Rowling and her mother were both students of his.
Gave birth to her 1st child at age 27, a daughter Jessica Isabel Rowling-Arantes on July 27, 1993. Child's father is her 1st husband, Jorge Arantes.
Gave birth to her 2nd child at age 37, a son David Gordon Rowling-Murray on March 24, 2003. Child's father is her 2nd husband, Neil Murray.
Gave birth to her 3rd child at age 39, a daughter Mackenzie Jean Rowling-Murray on January 23, 2005. Child's father is her 2nd husband, Neil Murray.
She secretly published a crime novel, "The Cuckoo's Calling", under the pseudonym of "first-time author" Robert Galbraith, so it would be given unbiased reviews that were independent of her reputation as author of the Harry Potter books and "The Casual Vacancy".
Working on the last two books of her popular worldwide masterpiece, "Harry Potter".
Wrote and released "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince", the sixth installment of the Harry Potter series. [July 2005]
Announced she is expecting 3rd child next year. [July 2004]
Currently putting the finishing touches on "Harry Potter and the Half- Blood Prince", the sixth book in the series. It will get a worldwide release at midnight on July 16th, 2005. [July 2004]
Currently at work on the final installment of the "Harry Potter" series. It should be released sometime in 2007. [November 2005]
Announced that she is "considering" writing another Harry Potter book. [October 2010]
Preparing for the release of her latest and last book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [May 2007]
Her third child was born on January 23, 2005 in Edinburgh.
Working on a new book aimed at younger readers. [December 2005]
Was inspired to create the character of Hagrid after overhearing a muscular biker worry that the petunias he cared for weren't doing very well.
Based the character of Gilderoy Lockhart on someone she knew and admits that she actually had to tone down his personality to make it more believable.

Personal Quotes (14)

[Asked by an interviewer about the next "Harry Potter" book]: Well, it will be a papery object with pages inside.
[Discussing her daughter, Jessica]: Kids at her school will sidle up to me and say, "Does Jessica know what happens in book 4? Does Jessica know the title of book 4?" And I keep saying, "No! There is no point kidnapping her, taking her around back of the bike shed, and torturing her for information."
Bigotry is probably the thing I detest most.
I had an American journalist say to me, "Is it true you wrote the whole of the first novel on napkins?" I was tempted to say, "On teabags, I used to save them."
I gave my hero a talent I'd love to have. Who wouldn't want to fly?
The spells are made up. I have met people who assure me, very seriously, that they are trying to do them, and I can assure them, just as seriously, that they don't work.
[When asked what the title would be for book six]: It will be called 'Harry Potter and...' something. Catchy, don't you think? And I think I'll follow the same model for seven.
People ask me if there are going to be stories of Harry Potter as an adult. Frankly, if I wanted to, I could keep writing stories until Harry is a senior citizen, but I don't know how many people would actually want to read about a 65 year old Harry still at Hogwarts playing bingo with Ron and Hermione.
[Family Circle, 4-1-06]: Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve.
[About being held up at an airport for refusing to be parted from the manuscript of her seventh "Harry Potter" book]: The heightened security restrictions on the airlines made the journey back from New York interesting, as I refused to be parted from the manuscript of book seven. A large part of it is handwritten and there was no copy of anything I had done while in the U.S. They let me take it on thankfully, bound up in elastic bands. I don't know what I would have done if they hadn't -- sailed home probably.
I would like to be remembered as someone who did the best she could with the talent she had.
Why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so Rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you've lived so cautiously, that you might as well not have lived at all.
[At the premiere at the last Harry Potter movie (2011)] Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.
[on making a $1.68-million donation for the campaign against the Scottish Independence movement] The more I listen to the 'yes' campaign, the more I worry about its minimization and even denial of risks. This separation will not be quick and clean. It will take microsurgery to disentangle three centuries of close interdependence. I just hope with all my heart that we never have cause to look back and feel we made a historically bad mistake.

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