Joanne "Jo" Murray, née Rowling OBE (born 31 July 1965), who writes under the pen name J. K. Rowling, is an English writer and author of the Harry Potter fantasy series. The Potter books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, and sold nearly 400 million books. The 2007 Sunday Times Rich List estimated Rowling's fortune at £545 million, ranking her as the 136th richest person and the thirteenth richest woman in Britain. Forbes has named Rowling the second-richest female entertainer in the world and ranked her as the forty-eighth most powerful celebrity of 2007.
Rowling has parlayed Harry Potter into a global brand worth an estimated $15 billion (£7 billion). She has also gained recognition for sparking an interest in reading among the young at a time when children were thought to be abandoning the book for the computer and the television. She has become a notable philanthropist, supporting such charities as Comic Relief, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and One Parent Families.
The last four Harry Potter books have been consecutively the fastest-selling books in history, a record which the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, currently holds. The series, totaling 4,195 pages, has been translated into 65 languages.