when j.k. Rowling created Harry Potter more than 20 years ago, ensuring a special connection to the boy wizard: They shared a birthday, July 31.
Feb. January 7, 2019 is the fifth annual Harry Potter Book Night. To celebrate, here are 50 Surprising Facts We Found About Harry Potter Creator J.K. rowling.
1. his first harry potter manuscript was rejected by 12 publishers before bloomsbury picked it up.
2. But her publisher suggested that she not use her real name, Joanne Rowling, for her books, because they didn’t think kids would want to read a fantasy book about a boy wizard written by a woman.
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3. the “k” in j.k. is the initial of her grandmother’s name — kathleen. Rowling did not have a middle name of his own. friends and family of hers call her “jo”.
4. in 1993 she spent christmas in edinburgh with her sister and their little daughter jessica. She stayed for a few months and received welfare benefits while she finished Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
6. Rowling, a voracious reader from an early age, said that she based the character of Hermione Granger on herself when she was 11 years old.
7. She used to write books for her family’s entertainment and wrote her first at age six, titled Rabbit.
8. She is a big fan of the block-building video game Minecraft, which she plays with her son David.
9. In her late 20s, struggling as an underemployed single mother after a failed marriage, Rowling went through a period of clinical depression. Her experiences with this later inspired her descriptions of the soul-stealing Dementors featured in the third Potter book.
11. his net worth is estimated to be around $1 billion dollars. In 2004, Forbes magazine declared her the first person to become a US dollar billionaire primarily through writing books.
12. Rowling’s parents met on a train from King’s Cross station. Potter fans will recognize the King’s Cross as the magical gateway to the wizarding world.
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13. on her writing style: “I’m pretty disciplined in my writing and try to have a regular workday, but I don’t set myself goals for word count to achieve. ”
14. The first print run of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was barely 1,000 copies.
16. He wrote two companion books to the Harry Potter series in 2001: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages.
17. Rowling has a charitable heart and a funny bone. In 2009, she donated the proceeds from the two Potter companion books to Comic Relief, an estimated total of over £17 million and counting.
18. She received an honorary degree from Harvard University in 2008, where she delivered a moving commencement address, which you can watch below.
19. Only one Harry Potter character is named after a real person: Natalie McDonald, a young Canadian woman who wrote to Rowling shortly before she died of cancer.
21. her first adult book, the casual vacancy, was published in 2012.
22. the occasional opening was adapted into a three-part television miniseries. aired in early 2015 on bbc one and hbo.
23. Rowling has more than 14 million followers on Twitter. she regularly communicates with fans and even discuss comments or behavior that she disagrees with.
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24. In 2015, Rowling came to the defense of tennis star Serena Williams on Twitter when someone posted a sexist comment about Williams’ physique. she has also criticized rupert murdoch for making islamophobic comments.
25. You know you’ve become an icon when you make a guest appearance on The Simpsons. Rowling was animated in the long-running comedy series in 2003, in an episode in which the family visits the UK.
26. Rowling founded the international children’s organization lumos, whose mission is to “support the 8 million children in institutions around the world to regain their right to a family life and end the institutionalization of children.”
27. In March 2015, Rowling received the British Red Cross Humanity Award for her charitable work and advocacy for humanitarian causes. the award honors outstanding philanthropists and humanitarians whose work has changed the lives of people around the world.
28. in 2015, lumos won the overall award for uk charity of the year. charity awards.
29. In 2010, when J.K. rowling turned 45, the same age her mother was when she died of multiple sclerosis. Rowling donated £10 million to the University of Edinburgh to set up a clinic in his mother’s name. the anne rowling regenerative neurology clinic opened its doors in january 2013.
31. Due to the popularity of the books, Quidditch has become a real sport with teams at many universities and its own world cup.
32. On May 8, 2012, Rowling was granted the Freedom of the City of London, a traditional ceremony normally reserved for royalty and heads of state. the first recorded freedom was presented in 1237.
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33. In 1982 she took the Oxford entrance exams but was not accepted. She ended up studying French at Exeter, a university with a reputation for being “franticly elegant”, as Rowling puts it.
34. Early in her career, she worked as a Francophone Africa Researcher for Amnesty International in London.
36. Rowling had a significant role in the film adaptations of the Harry Potter series, which became the second highest-grossing film series in movie history. she advised on the scripts for the films and later joined the operation as a producer.
37. what a ride it’s been with the harry potter franchise…literally. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is comprised of Universal Studios theme parks in Orlando, Hollywood, and Osaka, Japan.
38. British comedians French & Saunders created a sketch for the second film called Harry Potter and the Azerbaijani Secret Urinal for Comic Relief in 2003.
39. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play based on a new original story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, opened in the summer of 2016 at London’s Palace Theatre. The show opened on Broadway in 2018 and is slated for further productions around the world. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be coming to Toronto in 2020.
41. She says that she wrote under a pen name because she “longed to return to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectations and to receive unvarnished feedback.”
42. his secret identity was revealed on twitter a few months after he published his first book under the name galbraith. Rowling sued the people who leaked the information and won her case. she donated the damages she received to charity.
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43. Evil Race is the third book in the series starring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. the first two books are entitled the song of the cuckoo and the silkworm.
44. rowling and her second husband, dr. Neil Murray lives in Edinburgh with her children. they got married on dec. 26, 2001.
46. harry potter has inspired more than 600,000 pieces of harry potter fan fiction, a total that is increasing by at least a thousand stories per week.
47. In 2007, Rowling was runner-up in TIME’s annual Person of the Year (after Russia’s Vladmir Putin).
48. Rowling has three children. Her eldest daughter is Jessica Arantes (from her first marriage), her son is David Murray, and her youngest is Mackenzie Murray (born 2005).
49. The names of the houses at Hogwarts were originally written on a barf bag!