J.K. Rowling is a English author famous for writing and creating the literary character of Harry Potter. Rowling soared to international fame when her first fantasy novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published in 1997. The film rights to Rowling’s books were sold and developed into a series of eight films that starred Daniel Radcliffe as Harry.
Along with being a novelist, Rowling is also a screenwriter and film producer, working on both the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises. She is also a noted philanthropist, donating several hundreds of millions of dollars from her net work of over one billion to charitable causes.
Born on July 31, 1965 in Yate, England, her given birth name is Joanne Rowling. Her writing name of J.K. Rowling came from a suggestion from her publisher that a non-gender specific name would appeal to male readers of fantasy. The K in Rowling’s name stands for Kathleen, her father’s mother’s name. Rowling’s zodiac sign is Leo.
Identifying as a Christian, Rowling attended the Church of England in her youth.(1)
As an adult, Joanne still attends church but it’s now a Scottish Episcopal Church. Her eldest daughter was baptized at this church. (2)
Rowling is a vocal supporter of gay rights. While she never directly raised the fact in her Harry Potter series of novels, Rowling said in an interview that the wizard character Dumbledore was meant to be homosexual. (3)
She has also publicly called out anti-gay detractors, such as the time she went after the Westboro Church for criticizing a marriage between the fictional characters of Dumbledore and The Lord of the Rings’ wizard Gandalf.
.@WBCsigns Alas, the sheer awesomeness of such a union in such a place would blow your tiny bigoted minds out of your thick sloping skulls.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 26, 2015
“On any given moment if you asked me [if] I believe in life after death, I think if you polled me regularly through the week, I think I would come down on the side of yes — that I do believe in life after death. [But] it’s something that I wrestle with a lot. It preoccupies me a lot, and I think that’s very obvious within the books.” (1)