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Born on December 8, 1943, in Melbourne, Florida, Jim Morrison was an American rock singer and songwriter. He studied film at UCLA, where he met the members of what would become the Doors. Known for his drinking and drug use and outrageous stage behavior, in 1971 Morrison left the Doors to write poetry and moved to Paris, where he died of heart failure
Singer and songwriter. Jim Morrison was born as James Douglas Morrison on December 8, 1943 in Melbourne, Florida. His mother, Clara Clarke Morrison, was a homemaker, and his father, George Stephen Morrison, was a naval aviator who rose to the rank of Real Admiral. George Morrison was the commander of United States naval forces aboard the flagship USS Bon Homme Richard during the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident that helped ignite the Vietnam War. Admiral Morrison was also a skilled pianist who enjoyed performing for friends at parties. Morrison's younger brother Andy remembered, "There was always a big crowd around the piano with my dad playing popular songs that he could pick up by ear."
During his early years, Jim Morrison was a dutiful and highly intelligent child, excelling at school and taking a particular interest in reading, writing and drawing. He underwent a traumatic but formative experience around the age of five when driving with his family through the New Mexico desert. A truck packed with Indian workers had crashed, leaving dead and mutilated bodies of the victims strewn across the highway. "All I saw was funny red paint and people lying around, but I knew something was happening, because I could dig the vibrations of the people around me," Morrison recalled. "And all of a sudden I realized that they didn't know what was happening any more than I did. That was the first time I tasted fear." Although his family members have since suggested that Morrison greatly exaggerated the incident, it nevertheless made a deep impression on him that he described years later in the lyrics of his song "Peace Frog": "Indians scattered on dawn's highway bleeding/ Ghosts crowd the young child's fragile eggshell mind."
Morrison moved frequently as a child due to his father's naval service, first from Florida to California and then to Alexandria, Virginia, where he attended George Washington High School. As a high school student, Morrison began to rebel against his father's strict discipline, discovering alcohol and women and bristling at all forms of authority. "One time he told the teacher he was having a brain tumor removed and walked out of class," his sister recalled. Nevertheless, Morrison remained a voracious reader, an avid diarist and a decent student. When he graduated from high school in 1961, he asked his parents for the complete works of Nietzsche as a graduation present – a testament to both his bookishness and his rebelliousness.
Upon graduating from high school, Morrison returned to his birth state of Florida to attend Florida State University in Tallahassee. After making the Dean's List his freshman year, Morrison decided to transfer to the University of California at Los Angeles to study film.
Born in Yate, England, on July 31, 1965, J.K. Rowling came from humble economic means before writing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, a children's fantasy novel. The work was an international hit and Rowling wrote six more books in the series, which sold into the hundreds of millions and was adapted into a blockbuster film franchise. In 2012, Rowling released the non-Potter novel The Casual Vacancy.
"I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized and I still had a daughter that I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life."
– J.K. Rowling
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Joanne Rowling, best known as J.K. Rowling, was born on July 31, 1965, in Yate, England. She adopted her pen name, J.K., incorporating her grandmother's name, Kathleen, for the latter initial (Rowling does not have a middle name).
As a single mother living in Edinburgh, Scotland, Rowling became an international literary sensation in 1999, when the first three installments of her Harry Potter children's book series took over the top three slots of The New York Times best-seller list after achieving similar success in her native United Kingdom. The phenomenal response to Rowling's books culminated in July 2000, when the fourth volume in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, became the fastest-selling book in history.
A graduate of Exeter University, Rowling moved to Portugal in 1990 to teach English. There, she met and married the Portuguese journalist Jorge Arantes. The couple's daughter, Jessica, was born in 1993. After her marriage ended in divorce, Rowling moved to Edinburgh with her daughter to live near her younger sister, Di. While struggling to support Jessica and herself on welfare, Rowling worked on a book, the idea for which had reportedly occurred to her while she was traveling on a train from Manchester to London in 1990. After a number of rejections, she finally sold the book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (the word "Philosopher" was changed to "Sorcerer" for its publication in America), for the equivalent of about $4,000. The book, and its subseqent series, chronicled the life of Harry Potter, a young wizard, and his motley band of cohorts at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.