JK Rowling, the first female novelist billionaire, recently lost her exclusive status because of some very good deeds.
Global – We say recently because not many people know about it, but Forbes announced the fact in 2012 already. We thought we would remind you about the story and why it matters, for those that might not have known.
In 2004, welfare-mom-turned-bestselling-novelist J.K. Rowling of fame became the first author to make the Forbes billionaires list, thanks to the film and marketing empire based on her seven-book Harry Potter series, the first volume of which launched in the UK in 1997.
She remained on the list for seven years, all the while building a reputation for her philanthropic endeavours, including contributions to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Children’s High-Level Group (now known as Lumos), the building of a regenerative neurology clinic in Scotland, and various other charitable causes through her philanthropic trust, Volant.
In 2012, Forbes announced that Rowling had dropped off its billionaire’s list, citing two reasons: the estimated $160 million (16% of her fortune) she had given to charity, and Britain’s high tax rates.
“New information about Rowling’s estimated $160 million in charitable giving combined with Britain’s high tax rates bumped the Harry Potter scribe from our list this year,” Forbes noted in its “Billionaire Dropoffs” list.
Rowling’s called One Parent Families, a nonprofit that empowers single-parent households, one of her favourite causes, according to Looktothestars.org. The organisation provides child-care services and helps parents discover new job and education opportunities.
Regarding her commitment to charity, J.K. Rowling was quoted in the Telegraph as saying, “I think you have a moral responsibility when you’ve been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently.”
The writer also founded her own charity, Lumos, which helps institutionalised and disadvantaged children in Eastern Europe.