JK Rowling – Books, Earnings & Family Members

Age/Date of Birth:
31 July 1965
5feet, 5inches (1.65 m)
English, Alsatian German, Scottish and French ancestry
Husband or Boyfriend:

Neil Murray (2001-Present),
Previously married Jorge Arantes (1992-1994)
Parents:Peter James Rowling and Anne Rowling
Net Worth:$1 billion

JK Rowling was born in Yate, Gloucestershire. She is an author, screenwriter, and film producer best known as the author of the popular Harry Potter series. Her net worth is estimated at $1 billion as of 2020. How did she make all this money from writing? It’s all here for you to find out.

JK Rowling’s Early Life and How She Started 

Joanne Kathleen Rowling was born on July 31, 1965, in England. She is one of those successful people with the “Rags To Riches” story. Her love for literature began quite early in life. As a child, she would often write fantasy stories and read them to her younger sister. She also fell in love with the works of English author and civil rights activist, Jessica Mitford after she read her autobiography given to her by her great-aunt. She even named her first daughter Jessica after the author.

After being rejected at the Oxford University, Rowling attended The University of Exeter where she studied French and Classics. After graduating in 1986, she worked in London for the Amnesty International as a researcher and bilingual secretary and later moved to Manchester where she worked at the Chamber of Commerce.

Her Books – Writing Harry Potter

In 1990, while on a delayed train trip from Manchester to London, Rowling developed the idea to write what would later become the famous Harry Potter series. Unfortunately for J.K, while she began penning her idea, she lost her mom, separated from her first husband and was left alone to cater for her daughter. Rowling became so poor that she had to live off state welfare.

However, Rowling didn’t allow the situations to discourage her. Although she was later diagnosed with clinical depression and sometime contemplated suicide, Rowling kept on writing her story. In the next  years, the seven books of the Harry Potter series were born, with most of them recording mind-blowing commercial success!

image source

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Rowling finished writing the first novel in the series in 1995, five years after she had begun. She titled it “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”. Initially, JK made no headway with her new book as up to twelve publishers rejected the novel’s manuscript. However, an editor from Bloomsbury eventually decided to edit the book a year later, and in 1997, the company published the first 500 copies of the book, sending 300 to libraries. Per the publishing deal, JK Rowling received just £1,500 in advance payment.

Rowling however, landed her big break in 1998 when Scholastic Inc. won the bid to publish the book for $105,000 at a US auction event. The company subsequently published the book in the US as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Today, an original copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is reportedly valued between $25,000 and $55,000!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

In July 1998, Harry Potter’s first sequel, The Chamber of Secrets was published. Rowling had received £8,000 from the Scottish Arts Council to enable her continue with the writing.

The same year, Warner Bros bought the rights to the Philosopher’s Stone and the Chamber of Secrets for a reported £1 million.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

One year after the publication of the second book, the third  book, The Prisoner of Azkaban hit the market. That was in July 1999.

By the summer of year 2000, the first three Harry Potter books has reached over 35 million copies in print, and brought in a revenue of around $480 million.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter’s 4th book, Goblet of Fire broke sales record in the US and UK after selling over 370,000 copies in the UK in its first day of release and over 3 million copies in the US in its first 48 hours.

The book had an initial printing of 5.3 million copies and an advance order of over 1.8 million copies.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter’s fifth installment and longest book, The Order of the Phoenix hit the shelves in June 2003. While Bloomsbury published the novel in the UK, Scholastic and Raincoast published it in the US and Canada respectively.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix also recorded massive commercial success, receiving 1.3 million preorders and selling over 5 million copies on its first day of release.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The sixth book in the Harry Potter series, Half-Blood Prince received publication on July 16, 2005, and in just 24 hours, it sold over 9 million copies! Prior to its publication date, the book received pre-orders of 1.4 million on Amazon.

In 2006, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince won the British Book of the Year.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter’s seventh book, The Deathly Arrows hold the record of the most pre-ordered books on three famous bookstores – Amazon, Borders, and Barnes & Noble. Published on the 21st of July 2007, Deathly Hallows sold 11 million copies in the first 24 hours, making it the fastest book to be sold in history.

JK Rowling

JK Rowling to this day continues to bank from the sale of the original Harry Potter series which have sold over 450 million copies worldwide. In 2017, Rowling reportedly earned as much as $54 million from book sales alone. Latest Forbes report also shows that the British author sold almost 2.6 million books between 2019 and 2020. Meanwhile, if JK Rowling has been receiving the standard 15% author’s royalty, it means she has earned over $1 billion from her books sales revenue.

Harry Potter Companion Books and Adaptations 

Alongside her initial seven books, JK Rowling released three companions to the Harry Potter series namely: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2001), Quidditch Through the Ages (2001), and The Tales of Beedle the Bard (2008).

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them gives more details of the magical creatures in the Harry Potter stories. More than 80% of the book’s proceeds goes to poor children around the globe through the BBC-affiliated charity body, Comic Relief.

Quidditch Through the Ages is dwells on the Harry Potter fictional sport, Quidditch. Just like Fantastic Beasts, over 80% of Quidditch‘s revenue goes to children via Comic Relief. The charity says it has so far raised up to £17 million from sales of the two books.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a children’s book comprising five fables. Similar to the case of the first two companion books, Rowling donates the entire royalties from sales of the book to Lumos, a charity organization she co-founded. In late 2007, Amazon bought JK’s handwritten edition of The Tales for a jaw-dropping £1.3 million at an auction. The whole money also went to Lumos. As of 2010, the charity has received about £11 million from sales.

In addition to her books, JK Rowling also earns tremendously from her novels’ adaptations for the theater, television and film. Starting from 2001, Warner Bros. produced eight feature film adaptations of the seven Harry Potter novels with Rowling contributing to its screenplay and production. The entire 8-part movie series has so far grossed over $8 billion at the global box office, making it the second highest-grossing film series in history, with Rowling getting a substantial slice of the gross revenue.

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In 2016, Rowling co-wrote Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a bipartite made-for-stage story which became the US’ most pre-ordered book. The play’s stage productions made its world premiere at the Palace Theater on July 30, 2016 and turned out hits in the UK and US, raking in $2.3 million in ticket sales in just a week!

Later in the year, JK made her original screenplay writing debut based on the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. The film made a global box office income of $814 million. In 2018, she released Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, her second screenplay from which she reportedly made at least $10 million.

The popularity of Harry Potter has also led to the creation of over 400 licensed products including theme parks and video games. Rowling gets about $60 million in licensing fees as well as a cut from tickets and merchandise sold. The famous novelist also owns the digital publishing, news, entertainment and e-commerce company, Pottermore Limited (now WizardingWorld) which has formed the bigger source of her earnings in recent times.

Thanks to Harry Potter, JK Rowling became the first ever billionaire author as well as the UK’s best selling author alive. As of 2020, the brand is reportedly worth over $15 billion. Meanwhile, Rowling’s net worth which once soared to $1.2 billion, stands at $60 million, per Forbes estimates.

Other Books by JK Rowling

Despite her massive authoring accomplishments, JK Rowling has not stopped writing yet. She has released several adult-focused and crime-fiction novels. These include The Casual Vacancy (2012), The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013), The Silkworm (2014), Career of Evil (2015), and Lethal White (2018).

The Casual Vacancy hit #1 on Amazon Book Chart just within hours of its release, and opened as the second biggest for an adult novel in the UK. Meanwhile, signed first edition copies of Cuckoo’s Calling sell for as much as $6,000.

In 2017, Rowling released two more books, Harry Potter: A History of Magic (for adults) and Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic (for children). She later dished out online instalments of a children’s political fairytale titled The Ickabog in 2020. The book whose official publication date is set for November, 2020 is Rowling’s first children’s book after the Harry Potter series.

An Inside Look at Her House

With the aforementioned net worth figure, Rowling can comfortably afford a luxury estate. Sometime in 2011, Rowling bought a £1million house next to her home. Guess what she did with the house? She knocked it down just to extend her garden!

She would later get a planning permit to erect gigantic tree houses in the garden. It was reported that the 40ft structures are only a part of her renovation plan for her Edinburgh home.

Who Is J.K Rowling’s Husband?

JK Rowling married  Neil Murray on December 26, 2001 in a private ceremony held at her residence in Edinburgh, Scotland. Rowling’s husband, Neil Murray is a Scottish medical doctor. Despite having made several public appearances with his famous novelist wife, Murray appears to prefer a low key lifestyle, away from the media. Hence, not much is known about him.

image source Rowling with Murray

Neil Murray is however, JK’s second husband. Prior to marrying Neil, Rowling was once married to Jorge Arantes, a journalist she met in a café while teaching English in Portugal. Rowling married Arantes in October 1992 but left him few months after she had a daughter with him over physical assault. That was in November 1993. The estranged couple later got a divorce in 1995.

Meet Her Children

JK Rowling has three children, namely:

Jessica Arantes

image source

Jessica is Rowling’s first child and daughter whom she had with her first husband, Jorge Arantes. She was born on on the 27th of July, 1993 in Portugal. With a Portuguese father and an English mother, Jessica is of mixed decent. Her mum who has always been a book lover named her Jessica after English author, Jessica Mitford. Her middle name is Isabel.

Having left her husband barely four months after her birth, Rowling raised Jessica alone during the hardest time of her life when she depended solely on welfare. She has however, grown into a beautiful woman with her own dreams. Unlike her author mum, Jessica is a lifestyle entrepreneur. Alongside her clothing line, JC. Closefit and Makeup brand, Jeisa Arantes, Jessica is a Youtuber and Instagram model.

David Murray

David is JK Rowling’s second child. He is however, her first with second husband, Neil Murray. David whose middle name is Gordon was born on the 24th of March, 2003 in Edinburgh.

Mackenzie Murray

Mackenzie Jean is Rowling’s third child and second daughter. She is however, her second child and first daughter with Murray. Mackenzie was born on 23rd January, 2005 in Edinburgh.

As of the time of writing this article, David and Mackenzie Murray lives under the radar and have more or less no media presence. As for Jessica Arantes, she lives in Portugal with her partner, Ronny Dias and their daughter, Laura Dias.

Profile Summary 
First Name:Joanne
Last Name:Rowling
Also Known As:
J. K. Rowling
Author, Screenwriter, producer
Famous For:Author of Harry Potter fantasy series
Colleges/Universities Attended:
University of Exeter
Educational Qualifications:
BA in French and Classics
Birthday & Zodiac
Age/Date of Birth:
31 July 1965
Zodiac Sign:Leo Sun
Birth Place:
Yate, Gloucestershire, England
English, Alsatian German, Scottish and French ancestry
Country of Residence:
Physical Attributes
5feet, 5inches (1.65 m)
52 kg (114 lbs)
Eye Colour:
Hair Color:
Other Body Measurements:
Breast size: 36inches
Waist: 24 inches
Hip Size: 35 inches
Marital Status:
Neil Murray (2001-Present),
Previously married Jorge Arantes (1992-1994)
Family and Relatives
Peter James Rowling
Mother:Anne Rowling
3 Children: Jessica Isabel Rowling Arantes(27 July 1993)
David Gordon Rowling Murray ( 23 March 2003)
Mackenzie Jean Rowling Murray(2005)
Siblings:Dianne Rowling (Sister)
Other Relatives:
Ernest Arthur Rowling (Paternal Grandfather), Kathleen Ada Bulgen (Paternal Grandmother), Stanley Georges Volant (Maternal Grandfather), Louisa Caroline Smith (Maternal Grandmother)
Net Worth
Estimated Net Worth:
$1 billion
Salary:$95 million
Source of Wealth:
"Harry Potter" novels ( sold at least 500 million copies worldwide and grossed $7.7 billion dollars),
"Harry Potter" movies (grossed more than $7.7 billion)

Other Things To Know About J.K Rowling:

J.K Rowling was rejected twelve (12) times by publishers before the success of her book Harry Potter. Her book was later accepted by Christopher Little, an "obscure London literary agent.

Chuck Dez
Chuck is a personal finance and entertainment writer with over 15 years of experience covering famous biographies, personal finance, celebrity net worth, and celebrity lifestyles. He loves the process of researching new information, discovering and learning new things, as well as putting into words, interesting things others might like to read. When he's not talking about the future of media, business or entertainment, you'll find him watching films, reading or spending time with his wife and kids


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