"Harry Potter" Series
Joanne "Jo" Rowling was born on July 31, 1965 in Yate, South Gloucestershire, England. Her family moved to the nearby village Winterbourne when Rowling was four. There she attended St Michael's Primary School, a school founded by abolitionist William Wilberforce and education reformer Hannah More. Her headmaster at St Michael's, Alfred Dunn, has been suggested as the inspiration for the Harry Potter headmaster Albus Dumbledore. In 1982, Rowling took the entrance exams for Oxford University but was not accepted and read for a BA in French and Classics at the University of Exeter. After a year of study in Paris, Rowling graduated from Exeter in 1986 and moved to London to work as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International.
After working at Amnesty International in London, Rowling and her then-boyfriend decided to move to Manchester where she worked at the Chamber of Commerce. In 1990, while she was on a four-hour-delayed train trip from Manchester to London, the idea for a story of a young boy attending a school of wizardry came to be. The seven-year period that followed saw the death of her mother, divorce from her first husband and relative poverty until Rowling finished the first novel in the series, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" in 1997. There were six sequels, the last, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" in 2007. Since then, Rowling has written three books for adult readers, "The Casual Vacancy" (2012) and—under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith—the crime fiction novels "The Cuckoo's Calling" (2013) and "The Silkworm." (2014).
Rowling is the United Kingdom's best-selling living author. The 2008 Sunday Times Rich List ranked her as the twelfth richest woman in the United Kingdom. Forbes ranked Rowling as the forty-eighth most powerful celebrity of 2007, and Time magazine named her as a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fans.
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