JK Rowling (Joanne Kathleen Rowling) is a British novelist who is also known as the author of Harry Potter. These books were translated in around 73 languages and sold around 450 million copies. The Harry Potter book series became the best-selling book series in history. These books were the basis for a series of films which ranked as the second most grossing film in history.

Early Years

‘Jo’ best known as JK Rowling was born on 31st June 1965 in a small town of Gloucestershire, England. Her pen name was JK which she incorporated from her grandmother Kathleen Rowling. JK Rowling’s father Peter James Rowling was an engineer at a legendary British motor company Rolls Royce. Her mother Anne Rowling was half-french and half-Scottish science technician. JKs both parents were Londoners.

In her early days, JK had various teachers who encouraged her to write. In her childhood, Joanne was a shy child. Her classmates used to remember her as an unsociable and secretive girl. She used to be in her own world and write something in her notebooks. After graduating from Wyedean School in 1983, Joanne decided to enter Oxford University. She had passed the entrance exams but was not accepted by one of the most prestigious British universities. She then entered the University of Exeter in South West England. After graduating from Bachelor’s of Arts, she moved to London and changed several jobs.

Creation of Harry Potter History

In the summer of 1990, when Rowling was coming back by train to London after meeting her boyfriend, the idea of Harry Potter suddenly came into her mind. On returning home, Joanne sat down at her desk and starting writing. One day, her apartment got robbed and thieves took away many memorable things left by her mother Anne. The thieves, fortunately, did not steal the shoebox full of the outline of Harry Potter. JK knew that these sketches were like a treasure for her.

JKs Harry Potter story saw the world after six months of her mother’s death. Her mother Anne died on 30th December 1990. After the death of her mother, Joanne went into depression. In order to escape from despair, she went to Portugal to start a new life. She then married Portuguese Television Journalist Jorge Arantas. Her husband was called off for training and in his absence, Joanne wrote the first three chapters of Harry Potter and Philosopher’s stone. When her husband returned back, he could not find a job. Joanne had to work until her daughter’s birth.

Few months after the birth of her daughter, Joanne’s husband beat her and thrashed her out of the house. Joanne and her daughter had to move to her sister’s (Dianne Rowling) house in Edinburgh. By the end of 1993, Rowling saw herself as a failure. The short-lived marriage had collapsed, he had no job, and she was homeless. This was the time when she was diagnosed with clinical depression and attempted suicide. This state of her’s, helped her to invent characters like Dementors, Dark Creatures in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This was the third novel of the Harry Potter series.


In 1995, after 5 years of writing, Joanne completed the novel Harry Potter and Prisoner’s Stone. Joanne shared her novel with her sister. Her sister loved it and this motivated Joanne. Now was the time to publish the novel. Her sister sent the novel to some literary agents. In return, she used to receive replies like “it is too difficult for children” or “it is too long”. Listening to this, Joanne felt very disappointed and thought that her life was of no meaning. She got rejected every time she went to a publisher. In August 1996, she started losing hope.

Turning Point

As she started losing hope, her book suddenly got a green signal and an advance of $2300 by Barries Cunningham, an editor at Bloomsbury. Joanne couldn’t believe her ears! The 8 years old daughter of Chairman of Bloomsbury helped him take this decision.

The novel won several awards and the publisher Scholastic Inc., in an auction, won the rights to publish the book for $105,000. According to Rowling word, she ‘nearly died’ after hearing this news. After receiving money from the auction sale, she bought a flat in Edinburgh.

In October 1998, Warner Bros. purchased the film rights for the first 2 novels for $1.5 million. Soon JK Rowling joined the club of millionaires and hit headlines in newspapers.

She worked hard and got successful by the name of Harry Potter author.