J.K. Rowling – the name we have all heard countless times since our childhood. The creator of the new Harvard: Hogwarts. She is the author of our childhoods who opened the doors of imagination and creativity to us. The ‘Expelliarmus’ spell may have worked super well since J.K Rowling net worth is currently $670 million.
Jo comes from a difficult background – where she once survived on welfare with a kid. A troubled teenager; single mother and then the English teacher got a life changing idea in a train ride. She worked on it for four years and then built an empire off of it. The legacy traveled through Porto, Portugal and Edinburgh in its initial stages.
Like all authors her idea was also rejected quite a few times before a publisher decided to print 500 copies. Jo finished it in 1995; got her first contract in the next 2 years and sold 300,000 copies in the UK by 1999. Then came the great seven figure deal to turn the books into movies. The classics are still in the mix, just the first movie grossed approximately $1 billion worldwide till June 2020.
The movies were just the beginning of the HP legacy. The Wizarding World opened in 2010 which according to Forbes raised Jo’s worth by double-digit millions. Then came the website and the broadway play. The website alone brought in $19 million and the play made the highest among any non musical broadway plays. All of this plus some other real estate endeavors contributed to J.K Rowling net worth.
While the train idea has made a lot of money for Jo, the two things which take up huge chunks of J.K Rowling net worth are the United Kingdom and charities. She credits HP to the UK’s government: “I couldn’t have written this book if I hadn’t had a few years where I’d been really as poor as it’s possible to go in the UK without being homeless.” Therefore, Jo has opted to pay Britain’s top tax rate of 45%, it might be one of the reasons why she is not a billionaire anymore.
The other chunk is spent on helping children. How did Jo get this idea? She explained in an interview how she once saw a picture of a caged child and decided to turn over the page because she couldn’t take it. It made her feel guilty that she chose that way out and decided to do something about it instead. She founded a non governmental organization Lumos after the illumination spell of Harry Potter. Lumos works to help the eight million children barely surviving in orphanages by uniting them with families or settling them in loving environments.
J.K. Rowling feels very strongly about this and believes that working closely with kids has just enabled her to connect better with children. She wants to get back to writing for children again but she is now trying her luck on adults. Jo also supports countless other charities regarding poverty, single parenthood and neurology.
A woman who has changed countless lives with her charities and her writings has also hurt a lot of people with her latest comments. Some of her tweets have been termed transphobic and has stained HP for her fans. The lead actor of the films adaptation, Daniel Radcliffe, consoled the fans and reminded them that their connection will always be sacred with the characters and cannot be tainted with anyone’s opinion.
J.K. Rowling has successfully turned Harry Potter into a timeless legacy which will forever live within our hearts. We have all dreamt of walking in the hallways of Hogwarts and train to become a wizard like Harry with Hermoine and Ron. She did not just write a book – she single handedly created a whole world beyond our imaginations. She has done everything under the gender neutral name J.K. Rowling and not Joanne Kathleene Rowling because her publisher thought a woman author would not do so well in the industry.
Jo is not just a great fictional author but a true business woman. All that she has done to keep Harry Potter alive are thorough proofs of her decision making skills. Running three charities and a whole empire does not just take time and guts but also a lot of will power. Let’s hope she becomes a little bit more accepting of all communities and maybe we can make her an icon?