Everyone knows who J.K Rowling is! She is, of course, the author of the world famous Harry Potter series. Her wizarding books have sold more than 400 million copies worldwide and Harry Potter is the best selling book series in history. All this, achieved out of a life of depression and living on benefits. I mean...wow.
Rowling was born Joanne Rowling in July 1965 and was working for Amnesty International when the Potter idea struck in 1990. However, as it often seems with most things in life, Jo didn't have one hurdle to get over, but several in the seven years that followed. She lost her mother, her first child was born and she was divorced from her first husband. Having moved to Portugal, she moved back to the UK with the beginnings of Harry Potter in her bag.
What I find amazing about Jo Rowling is that, ultimately, she had the courage and conviction to not allow her dire situation to become her. Far from letting her jobless, single parent status rule her life, she has said being jobless allowed her more freedom and time to write.
After gaining an agent and, finally, a publishing advance, in 1997, Jo was a published author. The initial print run was of 1000 copies - half of which were distributed to libraries. These copies now fetch up to £25,000. Incredible.
Jo was able to come out the other end of depression and has really made the literary world her own. She recently lost her billionaire status because she'd given so much of her money to charities and to those in need. Jo Rowling really is an inspiring woman!
"If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped to change. We do not need magic to transform the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already."
—J.K. Rowling on her Harvard Commencement Speech in June 5, 2008