J.K. Rowling is the creator and author of the beloved Harry Potter series. She gave life to a lonely boy with broken glasses who knew nothing about who he was, a boy that resonated with the world, who turned out to be the savior everyone needed. Oh, and he’s a wizard of course.
The success of the books and then in turn the movies, has created a franchise unlike any other. Worlds have been created around one woman’s story and the fans are as loyal as they come. Rowling became the most successful author of our time, reaching billionaire status and becoming a celebrity in her own right.
But it wasn’t always easy for her and that has kept her grounded, something most celebrities lose after having everything dropped to their feet. Rowling was a single mother living on welfare when she wrote her book and it took a while to get a publisher on board. That didn’t stop her, she persisted and got her first book published, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, and her career and life skyrocketed to the stars.
It’s not just that she’s grounded that other celebrities could learn from, it’s so much more than that. She’s just a decent human being who didn’t let money corrupt who she was.
Rowling created a $15 billion dollar brand with her net worth being just under $1 billion. Her books have sold more than 400 million copies, she has over 400 licensed products, 11 video games, and two theme parks. While the bulk of her recent worth comes from e-books she sells exclusively on her Pottermore website, her money has been trending downwards. Why? Because she has given away more than $100 million dollars of her money to charity.
When have you ever heard of another celebrity doing that? Sure, they raise money for charities, promote charities, give their time towards charities and under-developed countries, which are all great things. But Rowling lost her billionaire status because she gave away HER OWN money to those in need. And she’s still rich. She didn’t need that money, because no one needs that kind of money, so she gave it away to those who did need it. That shows her worth more than a dollar sign does.
She also stays relevant by putting her wonderful two cents in wherever she feels it’s needed. She stands up for people who are attacked on Twitter and shuts down trolls like the boss she is.
Rowling told off haters who resisted the fact that she said Dumbledore was in fact gay, by saying that “gay people just look like.. people”. She has called out media outlets that called a young white boy who was a sole suspect in a shooting a “lone wolf” by telling them to call him for what he really is, a terrorist.
When Donald Trump tried to take credit for the word “fake”, Rowling responded as you would expect her to:
I just made up the phrase 'batshit crazy.' https://t.co/QRJCsWrP7h
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 8, 2017
And even more recently, she stood up for Meghan Markle after a media outlet called her “unsuitable” to marry Prince Harry because she was divorced. Her retort? A simple hashtag, #TeamDivorcée.
We all know J.K. Rowling has a way with words, but when she stands up for social justice and to put trolls in their place she builds an even stronger relationship with her fans than she already has. The real lesson here is that celebrities have a choice, they can sit on their high horses or lead by example, just like the creator of Harry Potter is.