J. K. Rowling

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Joanne "Jo" Rowling, OBE[1] (born 31 July 1965),[2] better known as J. K. Rowling (pronounced /ˈroʊlɪŋ/, ROH-ling),[3] is a British author best known as the creator of the Harry Potter fantasy series, the idea for which was conceived 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[4] and been the basis for a popular series of films, in which Rowling had overall approval on the scripts[5] as well as maintaining creative control by serving as a producer on the final instalment.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8] Forbes ranked Rowling as the forty-eighth most powerful celebrity of 2007,[9] 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.[10] In October 2010, J. K. Rowling was named 'Most Influential Woman in Britain' by leading magazine editors.[11] She has become a notable philanthropist, supporting such charities as Comic Relief, One Parent Families, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain, and Lumos (formerly the Children's High Level Group).

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