J. K. Rowling is a British author best known as the creator of the Harry Potter fantasy series, the idea for which was conceived whilst on a train trip from Manchester to London in 1990. The Potter books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, sold more than 400 million copies and been the basis for a popular series of films, in which Rowling had creative control serving as a producer in two of the seven instalments.
Rowling is perhaps equally famous for her "rags to riches" life story, in which she progressed from living on benefits to multi-millionaire status within five years. As of March 2010, when its latest world billionaires list was published, Forbes estimated Rowling's net worth to be $1 billion. The 2008 Sunday Times Rich List estimated Rowling's fortune at £560 million ($798 million), ranking her as the twelfth richest woman in Great Britain. Forbes ranked Rowling as the forty-eighth most powerful celebrity of 2007, and Time magazine named her as a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fandom. In October 2010, J. K. Rowling was named 'Most Influential Woman in Britain' by leading magazine editors. She has become a notable philanthropist, supporting such charities as Comic Relief, One Parent Families, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain, and the Children's High Level Group.
Rowling was born to Peter James Rowling and Anne Rowling, on 31 July 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire, England, 10 miles (16.1 km) northeast of Bristol.Her sister Dianne was born at their home on 28 June 1967 when Rowling was 23 months old. The family moved to the nearby village Winterbourne when Rowling was four.She attended St Michael's Primary School, a school founded by abolitionist William Wilberforce and education reformer Hannah More.Her headmaster at St Michael's, Alfred Dunn, has been suggested as the inspiration for the Harry Potter headmaster Albus Dumbledore.
As a child,...