An author and philanthropist, JK Rowling was born as Joanne, but used the pen name JK when her debut novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
was released in 1997. Publishers feared young boys would not want to read a book written by a woman.
Joanne thought of the idea for Harry Potter
book in 1990, while she was working as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International, but she didn't actually write and finish the book until 1997. In the time between she went through her mother's death and a divorce.
She wrote the book in cafes across Glasgow in Scotland,
and has been quoted as saying that during this time she was as "poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless."
Joanne received glowing reviews for the novel, and soon found herself being asked to sign over the rights for the film.
Six sequels followed and the franchise has often been named as one of the most successful of all time.
The 49-year-old wrote her first adult fiction novel, The Casual Vacancy,
in 2011, and in 2013 Joanne had to admit that she was the author of The Cuckoo's Calling
, a crime story which had been released under the name Robert Galbraith.
As well as being the President of charity Gingerbread, and establishing the Volant Charitable Trust,
which aims to combat poverty and social inequality, JK works closely with many literature charities and contributes money towards research for Multiple Sclerosis.
The author is married to Neil Michael Murray and the pair have three children, David Gordon Rowling Murray, Mackenzie Jean Rowling Murray and Joanne's eldest daughter, Jessica Isabel Rowling Arante.