KEY POINTS

  • JK Rowling is the first author in the world to reach $1 billion in net worth
  • The author has donated $160 million to charity 
  • The world’s richest 1% own 43.4% of the world’s wealth

British author J.K. Rowling, best known for writing the “Harry Potter” series, is among the richest 1% in the world given her billionaire status. 

Rowling is the first author in the world to achieve a net worth of $1 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. She had amassed the massive fortune mainly through the success of the “Harry Potter” fantasy series, which have sold over 500 million copies since 1997. 

Although Rowling has never spoken about her financial and business affairs, the success from the initial seven books in the series, the equally successful film adaptations and several other deals have propelled her to immense wealth. 

According to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, the world’s richest 1%, or those with more than $1 million, own 43.4% of the world’s wealth.

In 2003, Rowling had made it onto Britain's rich list, where headlines claimed she was "richer than the Queen." But despite her enormous wealth, Rowling has denied being a billionaire.

In 2012, Forbes also dropped her from its billionaires list after eight years. Reports say it was because she donated a huge sum of her fortune to her own charity, Lumos, which helps institutionalized and disadvantaged children in Eastern Europe, and to One Parent Families, which empowers single-parent households. 

Rowling, a known philanthropist, is involved in numerous poverty and social inequality charities, along with charities that work to help fight multiple sclerosis. 

To date, Rowling has donated $160 million to multiple charities, according to PolitiFact

Aside from her charity works, Rowling also spent a good chunk of her fortune on real estate in Scotland and England. She once demolished a $1.3 million house near her Edinburgh mansion to build her children a tree house worth $330,000, Business Insider reported. 

She also bought a $29 million yacht previously owned by actor Johnny Depp. She later sold the sailboat for $20 million. 

JK Rowling says she has suffered domestic abuse and sexual assault in the past JK Rowling says she has suffered domestic abuse and sexual assault in the past Photo: AFP / Angela Weiss