Beloved Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling seems like she would have few reasons to be unhappy: she's written a slew of best sellers, her books are still read and loved, she has hundreds of millions of dollars, and she's renowned for her charity work. But as Rowling told the BBC on Monday, she does have one big regret in her life, namely that her mother never lived to see her success. Anne Rowling died in 1990 at the age of 45 after years of suffering from multiple sclerosis, back when J.K. was only just starting to write the first Harry Potter book.
"My mother was a passionate reader, and she would have been excited whatever I did," J.K. said, "but particularly to be a writer, she would have considered to be a very valuable thing." And yet Anne would never read the series that has been loved by millions across the world, the series her daughter started while struggling to get by as a single mother. "I wish she'd known," J.K. said.
Anne was originally diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 35 while her daughter was still a teenager. She remembers that the diagnosis and her mother's failing health, "had the most enormous impact on our family life" and was "just the most enormous shock to us and everyone who knew her." Today, J.K. helps fund the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic at the University of Edinburgh to honor her mother's memory. The clinic helps patients with multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases such as Huntington's, Parkinson's, and autism.
J.K. also discussed her other charity work during the BBC segment, saying she wanted to take her wealth and success and "use my power for good not evil." She's the founder and chair of Lumos, an organization that supports children around the world who are living in institutions, and she's also active with several other charities as well as running a charitable trust that primarily focuses on issues affecting women and children.
So Anne Rowling may never have been witness to her daughter's success, but it looks like she did a good job raising her to be a compassionate and generous woman, one who's inspired children and adults alike all across the world.