J. K. Rowling Trivia

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Learn more about the author of the Harry Potter books

by Ann-Marie Imbornoni and Dana Quigley

Did you know:

J.K. Rowling Biography

Her last name rhymes with "bowling."

Has a sister named Di, who is two years younger than she is.

Wrote her first story, about a rabbit named Rabbit, when she was five or six years old.

Grew up outside Bristol, England, and later moved to the Forest of Dean district near Wales. The Forest of Dean is an area of great natural beauty, and was designated the first National Forest Park in England in 1938.

Attended the University of Exeter, England, where she studied French and classics. As part of her course, she studied for a year in Paris.

Worked briefly for Amnesty International in 1987, doing research into human rights abuses in French-speaking parts of Africa.

Taught English in Oporto, Portugal, in 1991.

Wrote ten versions of the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Has already written the final chapter of the seventh book, concluding the Harry Potter series. (She keeps it in a very safe place.)

Married Portuguese television journalist Jorge Arantes in 1992.

Gave birth to daughter Jessica in 1993.

Lived on the dole, the British equivalent of welfare, for nearly a year while she finished the first Harry Potter book.

Wrote much of the first Harry Potter book in a café in Edinburgh, Scotland, since her apartment was unheated.

In 1997 she won a grant from the Scottish Arts Council, which she used to buy a computer.

In 2000 she became the highest-earning woman in Britain, netting about $30 million during the previous year.

In 2001 she received an OBE (Order of the British Empire), a medal of achievement awarded by the queen. She also received her first honorary degree, from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

Has expressed deep interest in U.S. politics.

Married her second husband Neil Michael Murray in 2001.

Cofounded the charity Children's High Level Group in 2005.

Received honorary degrees from St Andrews University, Harvard University, the University of Exeter, the University of Edinburgh, Napier University, and the University of Aberdeen.

Was the runner-up for Time magazine's Person of the Year award in 2007

Upon finishing the seventh Harry Potter novel while staying at the Balmoral Hotel in Scotland, Rowling wrote on a bust in her room "JK Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room (652) on 11th Jan 2007."

In 2008 she was named the 12th richest person in Britain.

Believes that she could never write under a pseudonym because her secret identity would not last very long.

Plans on releasing an extensive encyclopedia that combines everything known about the Harry Potter universe along with never-released material.

Received the prestigious Legion of Honor award from French President Nicholas Sarkozy in 2009.

* Visit our Harry Potter Page for more news! *

Sources +