JK Rowling is unarguably one of the most accomplished writers in this time and age. She had a difficult past as a single mother but would later boast a fascinating life after her widely acclaimed book – Harry Potter – became the go-to book in the United Kingdom and beyond.
Prior to fame and success, Rowling faced so many difficulties on her way. From her mother’s illness to getting pushed out of the house by her first husband, struggling to make ends meet and becoming the best mother to her first daughter and writing Harry Potter outside the comfort of her home, the iconic British author really passed through a lot of things – her only assets at the time were her unbreakable spirit and an unfathomable passion for writing.
JK Rowling’s success story and life, in general, are really inspiring. Her life tells a lot of stories and has been a source of major inspiration to many people struggling to make it in their different fields of interest.
Let’s take a trip down the memory lane on how the veteran author’s journey to stardom began.
JK Rowling Biography (Age)
JK Rowling, born Joanne Rowling, is the daughter of Anne Volant Rowling, a half-Scottish and half-French science technician and Peter James Rowling, who worked as an engineer at Rolls-Royce. She was born in Yate, Gloucestershire, England, on June 31, 1965, and was raised together with her younger sister called Dianne Rowling.
Joanne attended St. Michael’s Primary School, Belfast, where she first discovered that the English language was her favorite subject. She later proceeded to Wyedean School, England to further her education, graduating in 1983.
Joanne Rowling had her college education at the University of Exeter, in South West England where she studied French. She initially applied to join the Oxford University but was denied entry despite passing the entrance examination.
The British author graduated from Exeter in 1986, a year after she finished her internship in Paris. She graduated with a diploma of Bachelor of Arts in French and Classics.
Joanne’s parents, Peter and Anne met in 1964 and got married the following year. They relocated severally to several cities in the UK. At age 15, Rowling lost her grandmother, her relationship with her father soured and her mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She eventually died in 1990 from the illness.
JK Rowling’s Family – Husband, Daughter, and Other Kids
JK Rowling met her first husband Jorge Arantes, a Portuguese television journalist, eighteen months after she relocated to Porto, a city in Portugal. The British author decided to move to Portugal from London nine months after her mother died to start a new life.
After a brief courtship, Rowling and Arantes finally tied the knot on October 16, 1992, in Portugal. Shortly after their marriage, her husband was called for training and was absent for a few months.
When Arantes finally returned home, he couldn’t find a job. It was during this period that Rowling gave birth to their first daughter – Jessica Isabel Rowling Arantes (born July 27, 1993). The couple’s marriage began facing difficulties a few months after Isabel’s arrival. Arantes ended up beating and throwing his wife and daughter out of the house. A devastated Rowling had to fly to her sister’s place, Edinburgh, in Scotland, in December 1993, with her infant daughter.
JK Rowling got married to her second husband, Dr. Neil Scott Murray, a Scottish anesthetist, on December 26, 2001, in a private wedding ceremony held at Rowling’s home in the county of Perthshire. Neil and the iconic writer welcomed their first baby together on March 24, 2003. He was named David Gordon Rowling Murray. Their second child, a daughter named Mackenzie Jean Rowling Murray, arrived on January 23, 2005.
Questions about JK Rowling’s faith has been a subject of interest to her fans and so many readers of her stories. According to the British author, she was born a Christian and has been a practicing Christian all her life. Her revelation comes hot on the heels of a much-debated question as to whether religious backgrounds influenced her books. In addition, she boldly disclosed that Christianity inspired Harry Potter, especially her final novel “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”.
JK Rowling, who also insists that Christianity is her major source of inspiration, is a member of the Church of Scotland, although she was brought up an Anglican.
Quick Facts About The Writer
1. Her pen name
Joanne Rowling was born without a middle name. She took up the Kathleen name after her publisher insisted she does so. Kathleen is her favorite grandmother’s name.
Besides writing, the British author loves doing a whole lot of other things. In her spare time, she listens to music, cooks, bakes, takes her kids out to have fun, and also writes songs. She has a song titled: Blind Pig, which she wrote for the 2016 film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Joanne’s favorite food and color are sushi and pink respectively while her favorite sport and drink are Quidditch and gin and tonic in the order given. Her least favorite sound is hearing her husband snore, her least favorite food is tripe and the quality she most admires in a person is bravery.
3. Harry Potter
After first, several publishing houses declined to publish her first book. The London-based publisher – Bloomsbury – finally agreed to publish her book after a long period of time.
JK Rowling’s novel series – Harry Potter – have sold more than 450 million copies and can be read in 73 different languages. The book is also the best-selling book series in history, as they’ve brought numerous awards to the British novelist, including the Order of the British Empire (OBE), which she received from His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in 2001.
The Harry Potter series, which is estimated to be worth $15 billion, has 4,195 pages in total. She completed her first book after five years. The project has also been the basis for a series of films, with Harry Potter being the most popular of them.
The names of all Harry Potter movies are Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010).
All materials related to Rowling’s Harry Potter are available on Pottermore.com. She launched the site on June 23, 2011, to enable readers to purchase e-books of the Harry Potter series and digital audiobooks.
4. In her early age, Rowling loved painting, modeling clay pottery and learning literature.
5. While in school, her mathematics teacher, Mrs. Morgan, was very hostile towards her.
6. The renowned author gave Harry Potter’s main character, Harry Potter her birthday, which is July 31.
7. Her mother, Anne, made her love literature. As a child, her mother used to read stories to her. In fact, at age of five, Joanne was able to retell every single book her mother read to her almost by heart.
8. She wrote her first book titled: Rabbit at the age of six. Her younger sister, Dianne, was the first person to listen to her stories.
9. Joanne’s favorite author is English novelist Jane Austen while her favorite living novelist is Roddy Doyle, an Irish dramatist, screenwriter, and author.
10. She once struggled with depression.
11. JK Rowling stopped speaking with her father, Peter Rowling way back in 2003.