Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling 1
Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling 2
Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling 3
Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Joanne Rowling, OBE (born 31 July, 1965 in Yate), commonly known as J.K. Rowling (pronunciation: role-ing, as in rolling stone) is an English fiction writer. Rowling is most famous for authoring the Harry Potter series, which 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 US dollar billionaire by writing books; Rowling is also the wealthiest woman in the United Kingdom, well ahead of even Queen Elizabeth II. She is also the second richest female entertainer in the world, behind Oprah.

Early Life
J.K. Rowling was born in Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom in 1965. Together with her mother, father, and younger sister, Diana, she moved to Winterbourne, Bristol and then to Tutshill near Chepstow. She attended secondary school at Wyedean Comprehensive, where she told stories to her fellow students. In 1990, her 45-year-old mother succumbed to a decade-long battle with multiple sclerosis. This affected her very much.

After studying French and Classics at Exeter University, with a year of study in Paris, she moved to London to work as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International. During this period, she had the idea for a story of a young boy attending a school of wizardry while she was on a four-hour, delayed train trip between Manchester and London. When she had reached her destination, she already had the characters and a good part of the plot for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in her head, which she began working on during her lunch hours.

Rowling then moved to Porto, Portugal, to teach English as a foreign language. While there she married Portuguese TV journalist Jorge Arantes on 16 October 1992. They had one child, Jessica Rowling Arantes (born 27 July 1993), before their divorce in 1995.

In December, 1994, she and her daughter moved to be near her sister in Edinburgh. Unemployed and living on state benefits, she completed her first novel, doing some of the work in an Edinburgh café. (There is a widely circulated rumour that she wrote in a local café in order to escape from her unheated flat - but according to the author this is false).

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

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's hi Stone was a huge success, and she has thus far published six sequels. The sales made her a multi-millionaire, and in 2001, she purchased a luxurious 19th-century mansion, Killiechassie House, on the banks of the River Tay in Perthshire, Scotland, where she married her second husband, Dr. Neil Murray, on 26 December 2001.

The Harry Potter series runs seven volumes, one for each year Harry spends in school. The series is complete. The fifth book, titled Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, was delayed by an unsuccessful plagiarism suit directed towards her by rival author Nancy Stouffer (see below). Rowling took some time off from writing at this point, because during the process of writing the fifth book she felt her workload was too heavy. She said that at one point she had considered breaking her arm to get out of writing, because the pressure on her was too much. After forcing her publishers to drop her deadline, she enjoyed three years of quiet writing, commenting that she spent some time working on something else that she might return to when she is finished with the Harry Potter series. The fifth book was released on 21 June 2003.

In late 2003, she was approached by television producer Russell T. Davies to contribute an episode to the British television science-fiction series Doctor Who. Although she was "amused by the suggestion", she turned the offer down, as she was busy working on the next novel in the Potter series. On 20 December 2004 she announced that the sixth Harry Potter book would be released on 16 July 2005.

Rowling has also made a guest appearance as herself on the American cartoon show The Simpsons, in a special British-themed episode entitled "The Regina Monologues".

New York Daily News
On 19 June 2003 Rowling and her American publisher Scholastic announced that they would sue the New York Daily News for $100 million because the newspaper had printed information on her work Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix before the book's official release date. The novel was due for release on Saturday 21 June, but the newspaper published a plot summary and short quotes on the previous Wednesday. An accompanying image even revealed two pages from the book with legible text. However, the story was complicated further when it was revealed that the paper had purchased the book from a health store whose owner received the novels wholesale and decided to place them in the window. The man claimed he was unaware he was supposed to wait until that Saturday.

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