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J. K. Rowling - The Greatest Storyteller of All Time

It’s practically impossible for anyone who grew up in the ’90s and 2000s to have grown up without Harry Potter - the books, the movies, Pottermore - the whole package. And for that, we have the series’ author, J.K. Rowling to thank. 

J. K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter

Today, on her 55th birthday, it seems only fitting to us to appreciate the long, and frequently hard journey she went on to achieve what she has today. 

Born on 31st July 1965, Rowling grew up in England and Wales and knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. At the mere age of eleven, she had already written her first novel. Amidst the avid writing, however, Joanne had an unhappy teenage life - her mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and she had a turbulent relationship with her father. This often made for a strained home. 

As a college student, she attended Exeter University, where she studied French and Classics.

As many know, Rowling’s story was not one of immediate success, and she had several years to go before she would write the Harry Potter series. In her 20’s, she was working as a researcher in London, but even here, she spent her every free moment and lunch break writing.

Kings Cross, Platform 9 and three quarters featured in Harry Potter

In 1990, however, at the age of 25, the idea for the Harry Potter books came to her as she sat on a delayed train from Manchester to King’s Cross in London - a name many of us know from the books themselves. 

However, in December, her mother passed away from her disease, and this had a profound effect on her - in fact, it impacted her writing, and the feelings of loss experienced by Harry in the first book are influenced by her own. Sadly, she had never told her mother about beginning to write Harry Potter.