J.K. Rowling
Writer and Founder of the children’s charity Lumos
J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling is the author of the seven Harry Potter books, first published between 1997 and 2007. The enduringly popular adventures of Harry, Ron, and Hermione have sold more than 500 million copies, have been translated into more than 80 languages, and made into eight blockbuster films, the last of which was released in 2011. She has also written three short companion volumes to the Harry Potter series: Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard, which were published to benefit Comic Relief and Lumos.

In 2016, Rowling collaborated with playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany to resume Harry’s story in a stage play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which premiered in London and is now playing in the United States and Australia. In the same year, she made her debut as a screenwriter with the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, inspired by the original companion volume, which features magizoologist Newt Scamander. Her second screenplay was Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald; the movie was released in cinemas in 2018.  

Rowling has also written a stand-alone novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, which was published in September 2012 and adapted for television by the BBC in 2015. Her 2008 Harvard commencement speech was published in 2015 as Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination, and sold to benefit Lumos and university-wide financial aid at Harvard.

Novels in her crime series, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, include The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013), The Silkworm (2014), Career of Evil (2015), and Lethal White (2018), and have been adapted for BBC TV as a major drama series, Strike.

In 2005, Rowling founded Lumos, a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization working to protect children’s rights. Named after the light-giving spell in the Harry Potter books, Lumos has a bold yet achievable mission: to have children worldwide out of institutions and into loving family care by 2050.  Lumos demonstrates the dramatic harm to children caused by institutionalisation and the proven benefits of the alternatives: community and family care. The charity tackles the root causes of family separation – poverty, trafficking and discrimination, reunites families, and speaks up on behalf of the eight million children trapped in orphanages and other institutions worldwide to transform their care, so every child can thrive in families and communities.  

As well as receiving an OBE and Companion of Honour for her services to children’s literature, Rowling has received many awards and honours, including France’s Légion d’Honneur and Denmark’s Hans Christian Andersen Award. She lives in Scotland with her family, and is at her happiest alone in a room, making things up.