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Person of the Week: J.K. Rowling

A Billionaire’s Badge

By Darren A. Williams

 Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw. Just the mention of these names and more than half the population already knows what I’m referring to. Harry Potter, The best selling book series of a magical young boy who goes off to the Hogwarts School of Wizardry and his adventures with friends while attending. Harry Potter is the brainchild of Author J.K. Rowling and the root of her success that change her life forever. It is also helping change the lives of others as well.

Born Joanne Rowling on July 31st, 1965 in Yate, England. She grew up there with her family as well as graduated from University of Exter with a BA in French. Later, She would work for Amnesty International in London and then moved to Portugal where she married a journalist. Together, they had a daughter named Jessica in 1993, but shortly after her marriage ended in divorce. After her divorce she moved in with her sister and lived off of welfare with her daughter. Joanne at that time was working on a book called “Harry Potter”. A story she actually thought of while taking a train from Manchester and had to remember it due to not having a single pen. In 1997, Joanne was able to sell the book to publishers starting at $4,000. Part of selling the book to make it more marketable she added a middle initial to her name and chose the letter K, for Kathleen, her grandmother. The books popularity skyrocketed and J.K. Rowling is now making 1.6 million a day from the Harry Potter Franchise. J.K. Rowling has since remarried and has 3 children and continues to write for children as well as for charity.

J.K. Rowling is very well known for her fortune gained from the publication of her Harry Potter books, but since she has stopped writing Harry Potter she is gaining publicity for her other notable actions. She still writes but for a bigger purpose and that’s charity. Nowadays, all her works such as The Tales of Beedle the Bard, goes towards helping those in need. J.K. works with charities such as the Lumos, that works to stop the institutionalization of children in Europe and find safer places for them to live. She also donates to help with Multiple Sclerosis research with the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic and Gingerbread to help single parents with children. She is now the President of the charity as of 2007. J.K. Rowling actually donates so much money that she was knocked out off Forbes Billionaires list! Her reaction to this, “I Couldn’t have written this book if I hadn’t had a few years where I’d been as poor as it is possible to go in the UK without being homeless.” Not many people would consider losing money as a thing to be proud of, but when it’s to give back to those in need, it’s a badge of honor. J.K. wears this badge proudly and continues to do so.

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