J.K. Rowling is no stranger to philanthropy. As of 2012, the Harry Potter author had reportedly donated upwards of $160 million to various charity organizations. Her charitable spirit has continued into 2013 with Rowling announcing this Wednesday that all royalties from “The Cuckoo’s Calling," her crime novel originally released under the pseudonym Robert Gailbraith, will go to The Soldiers' Charity, an organization that provides support for British soldiers and their families.
Rowling, who celebrates her birthday today, said in a statement:
"This donation is being made to The Soldiers' Charity partly as a thank you to the Army people who helped me with research, but also because writing a hero who is a veteran has given me an even greater appreciation and understanding of exactly how much this charity does for ex-servicemen and their families, and how much that support is needed.
"I always intended to give The Soldiers' Charity a donation out of Robert's royalties but I had not anticipated him making the bestseller list a mere three months after publication - indeed, I had not counted on him ever being there! "
Robert Gailbraith's true identity was leaked to the press in mid July, causing the book to immediately shoot to the top of the bestsellers list. Since then, Rowling has been involved in a legal proceedings with British law firm Russels (where the leak occurred), having charged them with breaching confidentiality. The case was settled today with Russels agreeing to reimburse Rowling's legal fees and give a substantial donation to The Soldier's Charity as well.
Rowling isn't the only one with a birthday today. Her most famous hero, Mr. Harry Potter himself, was born July 31, 1980. Happy 33rd Birthday to the Boy Who Lived!