"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was published by J. K. Rowling in 1997. It was her first novel and it was brilliant! The book sold off the shelves leading to more books in the series. Children couldn't wait to see what happened to Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermoine Granger in the next year […]
Born on July 31, 1965, to Peter James Rowling, a Rolls-Royce aircraft engineer, and Anne Rowling (nee Volant), Joanne Rowling was a divorced mother living in Gloucestershire, England when she hit upon the idea of a book about a young wizard boy, who is alone and trying to overcome obstacles to find his way to becoming the hero of his story.
Every day she would take her baby for a walk in his pram and stop at a coffee shop while he napped. There she worked on her story and made one cup of a coffee stretch. Some of her ideas for her stories came from the romantic stories she heard all her life. Stories including how her parents met, while on a train departing King's Cross Station and headed for Arbroath in 1964. Stories about her heroic grandparents gave her ideas of courage under extreme circumstances. Also, her headmaster while she attended St. Michael's in the village of Winterbourne was probably the inspiration for Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts. She also based a lot of Hermoine Granger on herself at eleven years old. Although her teacher at the time, Steve Eddy, said she actually didn't stand out but was very bright and good at English.
With a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Edinburgh and also having studied at the University of Exeter, she should have been able to find a meaningful and supportive job. But, as with so many people with college degrees, she learned finding a job that would support her family and pay child care is very hard, if not impossible, especially with a degree in the arts.
While she was working as a researcher for Amnesty International, she began to brew the idea for the Harry Potter series. Within seven years, she had lost her mother, her job and divorced her husband. Rowling also gave birth to her first child during this time. Now she was divorced, lonely and living in relative poverty. In 1997 J. K. Rowling published her first novel, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone". The book quickly became one of the world's most well-loved books. She since has written six sequels and a few short stories in the series. Her books have brought the love of reading to a whole generation of children around the world.
Her publisher asked her to use a more male sounding name "since young boys might not want to read a book written by a woman". Since she didn't have a middle name, she used the K. from her paternal grandmother, Kathleen Ada Bulden Rowling. But, she calls herself, Jo. She also writes under another pen name, Robert Galbraith.
Since the success of the Harry Potter series, J. K. Rowling has become the best selling living author in the United Kingdom. She was ranked as the forty eighth most powerful celebrity in 2007. She is also one of the twelve richest women in the world. In 2010 she was chosen as one of the most influential women in Britain by the leading magazine editors in the area.
J. K. Rowling continues to use her fame to help others. She supports charities, including Comic Relief, One Parent Families, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain. In 2007, Time Magazine named her as runner up for the social, moral and political inspiration she has given her fans.