Our Founder and Life President - Lumos Skip to page content

Our Founder and Life President

Children belong in families,
not orphanages

J.K. Rowling


J.K. Rowling
Photography Debra Hurford Brown © J.K. Rowling 2018

Compelled by an article in the Sunday Times newspaper back in 2004 about children being kept in caged beds in an institution, writer J.K. Rowling had the original idea for a charity which would seek to end the institutionalisation of children.And so Lumos, named after the light-giving spell in Harry Potter, was founded to shine a light on some of the world’s most disadvantaged children.

After eight years as chair of the Board of Trustees, J.K. Rowling became Founder and Life President of Lumos in 2014.

J.K. Rowling is the author of the record-breaking, multi-award-winning Harry Potter novels. Loved by fans around the world, the series has sold more than 500 million copies, been translated into over 80 different languages and made into eight blockbuster films.

J.K. Rowling has written three companion volumes in aid of charity: Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (in aid of Comic Relief and Lumos), and The Tales of Beedle the Bard (in aid of Lumos).In 2007, J.K. Rowling auctioned a copy of one of the seven special editions of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, which raised £1.95 million for Lumos.In December 2008 the book was widely published in aid of the charity and became the fastest-selling book of that year.

Her 2008 Harvard commencement speech was published in 2015 as an illustrated book, Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination, and sold in aid of Lumos and university-wide financial aid at Harvard.

In 2016, J.K. Rowling collaborated with writer Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany on the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, which is now running at The Palace Theatre in London’s West End and The Lyric Theatre on Broadway. The Cursed Child has held gala performances in both the U.K. and the U.S. in aid of Lumos.

Also in 2016, J.K. Rowling made her screenwriting debut with the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. A prequel to the Harry Potter series, this new adventure of Magizoologist Newt Scamander marked the start of a five-film series to be written by the author. The second film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was released in November 2018.A special screening of the first film was held at Carnegie Hall in the U.S. in aid of Lumos

Through her charitable trust, Volant, J.K. Rowling supports a number of other causes to do with social deprivation, particularly concerned with women, children and young people at risk.She continues to fund research and treatment of Multiple Sclerosis and other neurological conditions through the Anne Rowling Clinic at EdinburghUniversity.

As well as receiving an OBE and Companion of Honour for services to children’s literature and philanthropy, J.K. Rowling has received many other awards and honours, including France’s Légion d’Honneur and Denmark’s Hans Christian Andersen Award.