TAMPA (WFLA) – Happy birthday Joanne Rowling, better known worldwide as J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter book series.

She was born in England on July 31, 1965.

She has sold more than 500 million copies of the Harry Potter book series. The first one, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published in 1997. There were six sequels. The last one, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released in 2007. It was in the first book at readers figured out that Harry Potter’s birthday in July 31, too.

Rowling was working for Amnesty International and was on a train from Manchester to London in 1990 when she got the idea for the books.

Rowling became a true rags-to-riches story. She saw the death of her mother, birth of her first child, divorce from her first husband and relative poverty until the first novel in the series was published.

The books also spawned a series of movies, video games and other merchandise that made Rowling one of the wealthiest people in the entertainment industry.

Which character is your favorite? The bespectacled boy wizard Harry, his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, or other who joined their adventures at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?