J.K. Rowling is no doubt one of the publishing world’s most consistent money makers—if not its best ever—and she is notoriously private, especially when it comes to her vast fortune. That means her net worth is a close-kept secret and the subject of rampant speculation.
Given the success of her new film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, there’s a new estimate of her worth, courtesy of New York Times writer James B. Stewart. He crunched the numbers—$1.15 billion from the Harry Potter books, $700 million from her films, tens of millions here and there for licensing deals—and pegged her fortune at at least $1.2 billion after taxes.
Stewart’s motivation for calculating the author’s worth is just as interesting as watching how the numbers add up. He writes that as a member of the uber wealthy club—enriched by her own brains and literary brawn—who also pays taxes and gives generously, Rowling is a rarity among today’s business moguls and celebrities, and her self-made success is something to celebrate.