Who’s got it made?

Notable inbetweeners are successful due to the boundless energy and commitment to doing what they love.  You can find all the secrets in the world by just following the advice of so many who say:

  • Love what you do, be passionate about it

  • Expect failure, it is a great motivator to want to leave it behind except the knowledge earned

  • They care less about what others think than what they are thinking about

  • They are not always the biggest house hold names

  • They are committed to seeing it through

  • They are tenacious, work hard, take criticism less because they know what they want to do

The ones I want to highlight were born between 1960 and 1065.  They fell into being an Inbetweener by birth, by accident, my karma, by fate … whatever you want to call it.  Here are some of them that you may already know:

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JoanneJoRowling, OBE FRSL[2] (/ˈrlɪŋ/; born 31 July 1965),[1] pen names J. K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith, is a British novelist best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series. The books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, and sold more than 400 million copies.[3] They have become the best-selling book series in history[4]and been the basis for a series of films which is the second highest-grossing film series in history.[5] Rowling had overall approval on the scripts[6] and maintained creative control by serving as a producer on the final instalment.[7]

Born in Yate, Gloucestershire, Rowling was working as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty Internationalwhen she conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series while on a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990.[8]The seven-year period that followed saw the death of her mother, birth of her first child, divorce from her first husband and relative poverty until Rowling finished the first novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in 1997. There were six sequels, the last, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in 2007. Since then, Rowling has written four books for adult readers, The Casual Vacancy (2012) and—under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith—the crime fiction novels The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013), The Silkworm (2014) and Career of Evil (2015).[9]

Rowling has lived a “rags to riches” life story, in which she progressed from living on state benefits to multi-millionaire status within five years. She is the United Kingdom’s best-selling living author, with sales in excess of £238m.[10] The 2008Sunday Times Rich List estimated Rowling‘s fortune at £560 million, ranking her as the twelfth richest woman in the United Kingdom.[11] Forbes ranked Rowling as the 48th most powerful celebrity of 2007,[12] and Time magazine named her as a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fans.[13] In October 2010, Rowling was named the “Most Influential Woman in Britain” by leading magazine editors.[14] She has supported charities including Comic Relief, One Parent Families, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and Lumos(formerly the Children’s High Level Group), and in politics supports the Labour Party and Better Together.

Rowling has said that her teenage years were unhappy.[21] Her home life was complicated by her mother’s illness and a strained relationship with her father, with whom she is not on speaking terms.[21] Rowling later said that she based the character of Hermione Granger on herself when she was eleven.[37] Steve Eddy, who taught Rowling English when she first arrived, remembers her as “not exceptional” but “one of a group of girls who were bright, and quite good at English”.[21] Sean Harris, her best friend in the Upper Sixth, owned a turquoise Ford Anglia which she says inspired a flying version that appeared in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.[38] At this time, she listened to the Smiths and the Clash.[39] Rowling took A-levels in English, French and German, achieving two As and a B[27] and was Head Girl.[21]

In 1982, Rowling took the entrance exams for Oxford University but was not accepted[21] and read for a BA in French and Classics at the University of Exeter.[40] Martin Sorrell, a French professor at Exeter, remembers “a quietly competent student, with a denim jacket and dark hair, who, in academic terms, gave the appearance of doing what was necessary”.[21] Rowling recalls doing little work, preferring to listen to the Smiths and read Dickens and Tolkien.[21] After a year of study in Paris,Rowling graduated from Exeter in 1986[21] and moved to London to work as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International.[41] In 1988, Rowling wrote a short essay about her time studying Classics entitled “What was the Name of that Nymph Again? or Greek and Roman Studies Recalled”; it was published by the University of Exeter’s journal Pegasus.[42]

An advert in The Guardian[27] led Rowling to move to Porto in Portugal to teach English as a foreign language.[8][36] She taught at night, and began writing in the day while listening to Tchaikovsky‘s Violin Concerto.[21] After 18 months in Porto, she met Portuguese television journalist Jorge Arantes in a bar, and found they shared an interest in Jane Austen.[27] They married on 16 October 1992 and their child, Jessica Isabel Rowling Arantes (named after Jessica Mitford), was born on 27 July 1993 in Portugal.[27] Rowling had previously suffered a miscarriage.[27] The couple separated on 17 November 1993.[27][46] Biographers have suggested that Rowlingsuffered domestic abuse during her marriage, although the full extent is unknown.[27][47] In December 1993, Rowling and her then-infant daughter moved to be near Rowling‘s sister in Edinburgh, Scotland,[26] with three chapters of what would become Harry Potter in her suitcase.[21]

Seven years after graduating from university, Rowling saw herself as a failure.[48] Her marriage had failed, and she was jobless with a dependent child, but she described her failure as liberating and allowing her to focus on writing.[48] During this period Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression and contemplated suicide.[49] Her illness inspired the characters known as Dementors, soul-sucking creatures introduced in the third book.[50] Rowling signed up for welfare benefits, describing her economic status as being “poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless.”[21][48]

Rowling was left in despair after her estranged husband arrived in Scotland, seeking both her and her daughter.[27] She obtained an order of restraint and Arantes returned to Portugal, with Rowling filing for divorce in August 1994.[27] She began a teacher training course in August 1995 at the Moray House School of Education, atEdinburgh University,[51] after completing her first novel while living on state benefits.[52] She wrote in many cafés, especially Nicolson’s Café (owned by her brother-in-law, Roger Moore),[53][54] and the Elephant House;[55] wherever she could get Jessica to fall asleep.[26][56] In a 2001 BBC interview, Rowling denied the rumour that she wrote in local cafés to escape from her unheated flat, pointing out that it had heating. One of the reasons she wrote in cafés was that taking her baby out for a walk was the best way to make her fall asleep.

  • James J. Collins (born 1965), US bioengineer, pioneered synthetic biology and systems biology

Massimo Pigliucci (born 1964), Italian-US plant ecological and evolutionary geneticist. Winner of the Dobzhansky Prize

 

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