J.K. Rowling, whose full name is Joanne Kathleen Rowling, is a British author and screenwriter who rose to fame with her seven-volume Harry Potter series, a children's fantasy saga that follows the adventures of a young wizard and his friends at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Harry Potter books were published between 1997 and 2007 and have become one of the most popular and successful book and film franchises in history, selling over 600 million copies worldwide and being translated into 85 languages . Rowling was born on July 31, 1965, in Yate, near Bristol, England . She studied French and Classics at the University of Exeter and worked as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International in London before moving to Portugal to teach English . She came up with the idea for Harry Potter in 1990 while on a delayed train from Manchester to London . After a brief marriage and the birth of her daughter Jessica in Portugal, she returned to the UK and settled in Edinburgh, where she wrote the first Harry Potter book while living on welfare . She has also written other books for adults and children, such as The Casual Vacancy, The Ickabog, The Christmas Pig and the Cormoran Strike crime fiction series under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith . She has received many honours and awards for her work, including the Companion of Honour, the PEN America Literary Service Award and the Costa Book Award .
Besides being a prolific writer, Rowling is also a generous philanthropist and a vocal advocate for various causes. She has donated millions of pounds to charities that support vulnerable groups, such as children, women, refugees and people with disabilities . She has also used her platform to raise awareness and funds for issues such as poverty, human rights, education and health . Some of the charities and organizations that she has supported include Amnesty International, Comic Relief, Doctors Without Borders, Heifer International, Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland and Women's Fund for Scotland.
One of Rowling's most notable philanthropic achievements is the founding of Lumos, an international non-profit organization that works to end the institutionalization of children and help them find safe and loving families or communities . Rowling established Lumos in 2005 after reading a newspaper article about the plight of children in orphanages in Eastern Europe. She was moved by the stories of abuse, neglect and deprivation that these children faced and decided to take action. Since then, Lumos has helped thousands of children across Europe and beyond to leave institutions and reunite with their families or find alternative care solutions. Rowling serves as the founder and life president of Lumos and has donated a significant portion of her wealth to support its work .
Rowling has also received numerous awards and honors for her literary and humanitarian work. She has won several prestigious prizes for her Harry Potter books, such as the Hugo Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the British Book Award and the Costa Book Award . She has also been recognized by various institutions and governments for her contributions to society and culture. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2001, Companion of Honour (CH) in 2017 and Legion of Honour by France in 2009 . She has also received honorary degrees from several universities, including Harvard, where she delivered a widely acclaimed commencement speech in 2008 about the benefits of failure and the importance of imagination . 29c81ba772