Joanne Kathleen Rowling

(J. K. Rowling)

1965 -

Author. Although born in Chipping Sodbury (England) and educated at Exeter University, Rowling has made her home in Edinburgh, where she was trained as a teacher at Moray House College. Before becoming a professional author, she was a secretary and then taught English in Portugal.

She became an international celebrity, and one of the world's highest earning authors, following success with the Harry Potter series of books, which have been translated into at least 28 different languages and sold in some 130 countries. This despite the fact that the first in the series was only completed with the help of a Scottish Arts Council grant and was initially rejected by several publishers. Much of the first book was written in a cafe at 6a Nicholson Street in Edinburgh, with others written in the Elephant House on George IV Bridge.

Rowling has won several awards, including the Whitbread Children's Book Prize and the British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year. She was awarded an OBE in 2000 and honorary degrees by the Universities of Edinburgh (2004) and Aberdeen (2006).

Such was her domination of the New York Times Best-seller List that a new list especially for children's books had to be created.

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