The Harry Potter novels are one of the most beloved series of children’s books in history. Does their author, J.K. Rowling, have kids herself?
J.K. Rowling has three children: two daughters and a son. Her eldest daughter, Jessica, was born on July 27, 1993, during Rowling’s first marriage to Jorge Arantes. Her son, David, was born on March 24, 2003, after Rowling married Neil Murray. Rowling’s youngest daughter, Mackenzie, was born on January 23, 2005, also fathered by Murray.
For more on J.K. Rowling’s three children, as well as some of her charitable endeavors, read on.
Rowling met her first husband, Jorge Arantes while living in Portugal and working as an English teacher. Arantes was a television journalist and the two met at a bar, connecting through a mutual appreciation for the works of Jane Austen.
Rowling and Arantes married on October 16, 1992, and Rowling gave birth to Jessica Isabel Rowling Arantes on July 27, 1993. Jessica was named after English author Jessica Mitford.
Months later, in November 1993, Rowling and Arantes separated, with Arantes publicly admitting in 2020 that he had physically abused Rowling. Rowling, who had already begun an early draft of the first Harry Potter novel, moved with Jessica to Edinburgh, Scotland, in December 1993.
Rowling’s struggles to make ends meet as a single mother have been well documented. She wrote much of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, known in the US as “Sorceror’s Stone”, in local cafes. She took Jessica to cafes to write because the flat they lived in was too cold to occupy all day.
Jessica’s parentage means she is of mixed English and Portuguese descent. She has her own YouTube channel, on which she offers lifestyle advice, and gives makeup tips and inspiration to her followers.
David and Mackenzie
Rowling remarried on Boxing Day, December 26, 2001, marrying Scottish doctor Neil Murray in a ceremony at Rowling’s home.
The couple had their first child together, son David Gordon Rowling Murray, on March 24, 2003. David’s birth coincided with Rowling’s writing of the sixth novel in her series, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”.
Rowling is a close friend of Sarah Brown, the wife of former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, so it’s possible that David’s middle name is a reference to the former PM.
The couple had their second child together, daughter Mackenzie Jean Rowling Murray, on January 23, 2005. Rowling dedicated “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” to Mackenzie, meaning the book has a close connection to both of her children with Neil.
The family lives in Edinburgh, where Rowling has resided ever since moving back from Portugal in 1993. Her most recent work, as of writing, is “The Ickabog”, which she wrote periodically between Harry Potter books.
She decided to release the story for free, deciding it would be a fitting gift for children during 2020’s COVID-19 lockdown. She has said that she considers the story David and Mackenzie’s, as she frequently read it to them.
In addition to her own children, Rowling has made a concerted effort to help vulnerable children around the world. She founded Lumos in 2005, a group dedicated to reducing the number of children in traditional orphanages, placing them instead in community-based housing, foster homes or even seeing them adopted.
Lumos first operated in Moldova in 2006, Europe’s poorest country, and has spread across some of Europe’s other impoverished countries before expanding to help children in first-world regions such as the USA. In fewer than 10 years, Lumos claims to have prevented more than 20,000 children from entering into orphanages, greatly increasing their future prospects.
While Rowling has enriched the lives of countless millions of people around the world with her Harry Potter novels, starting Lumos might be looked back on as her most important contribution to the world.