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J.K. Rowling and Neil Murray Marriage Profile


Photo: Dave Hogan / Getty Images

J K Rowling and Neil Murray at the Odeon Leicester Square on May 30, 2004 in London.

Photo: Dave Hogan / Getty Images
J.K. Rowling has found happiness in her marriage with Dr. Neil Murray. Here's information about how the couple met, their wedding, children, and more.

Fast Marriage Facts - Jo and Neil:

Wedding Date: December 26, 2001.
First Marriage: No.

Did You Know?

Their wedding was very small with only 15 guests.


Joanne Rowling: July 31, 1965 in Chipping Sodbury which is near Bristol in southern England. July 31st is also the birthday of her famous wizard character Harry Potter.
Her nickname is Jo. The "K" in her author name was added when her publisher thought she needed a second initial. Rowling chose her grandmother's name, Kathleen.

Neil Scott Murray: June 30, 1971 in Scotland.

How J.K. and Neil Met:

Murray and Rowling were introduced by a mutual friend in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2000.

Dr. Neil Murray has been described as an adult version of Harry Potter. He has short, dark hair, and wears round spectacles.

Ages at Wedding:

Rowling, 35; Murray, 30.

Wedding Information:

Joanne Rowling and Dr. Neil Murray were married on December 26, 2001, in the library at their home in Perthshire, Scotland. It was a private 20-minute ceremony. Rowling wore a cream couture outfit.

Among the 15 guests at the wedding were Rowling's father Peter and stepmother Janet, and Murray's father and mother, Ernest and Barbara.

The three bridesmaids were her daughter Jessica, Rowling's sister Dianne, and Murray's sister Lorna.

To keep the ceremony a secret, they hired caterers from Edinburgh, and a minister, J.S. Richardson of St. Columbia's Episcopal Church in Edinburgh.

Earlier plans to marry on a trip to the Galapagos Islands were cancelled after news leaks appeared in the press.


Rowling has three children.
  • Miscarriage: Summer of 1992.
  • Jessica Rowling Arantes: Born in Portugal in 1993. Her father is Jorge Arantes.
  • David Gordon Rowling Murray: Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2003. His father is Neil Murray.
  • Mackenzie Jean Rowling Murray: Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2005. Her father is Neil Murray.


Rowling graduated in 1987 from the University of Exeter with a degree in French and Classics. In July, 2004, she received an honorary degree from Edinburgh University.

In 1994, Murray graduated from the medical school of Glasgow University.

Previous Marriages:

Both Rowling and Murray were married before.
  • Jorge Arantes: Rowling married television journalist Jorge Arantes in Portugal on October 16, 1992. The couple divorced after a short-term marriage on November 30, 1993. Arantes was said to be both emotionally and physically abusive.
Rowling, about her first marriage: "Obviously you don't leave a marriage after that very short period of time unless there are serious problems. And I had a baby with this man. But it didn't work. And it was clear to me that it was time to go. I never regretted it."
Source: Brendan Bourne. "JK Rowlings Marries Her Doctor Friend." Sunday Times of London. 12/30/2001.
  • Fiona Duncan: Murray was married in 1996 to Dr. Fiona Duncan, who he met in medical school. The couple separated in 1999, and divorced in the summer of 2001.


Rowling: Teacher (taught English in Portugal), billionaire author of the Harry Potter series of books. Rowling reportedly earned more than Queen Elizabeth II and has been named as the highest-earning woman in Britain.

Rowling was awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.)

Rowling supports many charities including ones that help victims of multiple sclerosis and one-parent families.

Murray: Anesthetist and GP who worked at St. John's Hospital and Edinburgh Hospital.


In 2009, Rowling and Murray purchased a 17th century mansion in Barnton near Edinburgh. According to The Daily Mail, in August 2012, they "won a battle to build two luxury tree houses in the garden."

They reportedly also own an $11 million Georgian-style home with an underground pool and 24-hour security in Kensington, London.

Quotes About the Murray-Rowling Marriage:

"A week before she met the man who would become her husband, a good friend asked her what she was looking for in a man. When Jo listed off her basic wants—intelligence, integrity, kindness, a strong sense of self—she says her friend looked at her and said, "Well, that's not going to happen." "[It was] like I'd asked for the earth!" she says. "And I thought, 'Okay, maybe that's not going to happen.'"
Source: "The Brilliant Mind Behind Harry Potter." Oprah.com. 10/01/2010.

Rowling: "Which I never in a million years expected. I never (thought) I would marry again and -- I really didn't. I (was) sometimes lonely. I hadn't met anyone that I wanted to be with long term … So I just thought, well, this is my life. I'm not meant to have that. And then, of course, the moment I'd accepted that comes Neil."
Source: Meredith Vieira. "Harry Potter: The final chapter." MSNBC.msn.com. 7/30/2007.

Books By and About J.K. Rowling:

The "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling
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"J.K. Rowling: A Biography" by Sean Smith
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