Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho

date of birth : 24/08/1947 | date of death :
Born on 24-Aug-1947, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, lyricist, novelist, He is the recipient of numerous international awards, amongst them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum.

Birth, Birthplace, Time of birth:

Paulo Coelho was born on 24-Aug-1947 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Father's name: Pedro Queima de Coelho de Souza
Mother's name: Lygia Coelho
Brother: -
Sister: -
Spouse: Christina Oiticica
Children: None

Personal Information:

Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight

Life events:

Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, the son of an engineer and a housewife.He determined early on that he wanted to be a writer but was discouraged by his parents, who saw no future in that profession in Brazil. Coelho's rebellious adolescence spurred his parents to commit him to a mental asylum three times, starting when he was 17. "I have forgiven," Coelho said. "It happens with love, all the time - when you have this love towards someone else, but you want this person to change, to be like you. And then love can be very destructive." At his parents' wishes, Paulo Coelho enrolled in law school and abandoned his dream of becoming a writer. One year later, he dropped out and lived life as a hippie, traveling through South America, North Africa, Mexico, and Europe and started drugs in the 1960s. Upon his return to Brazil, Coelho worked as a songwriter, composing lyrics for Elis Regina, Rita Lee, and Brazilian icon Raul Seixas. Composing with Raul led to Paulo being associated with magic and occultism, due to the content of some songs. In 1974, Coelho was arrested for "subversive" activities by the ruling military government, who had taken power ten years earlier and viewed his lyrics as left-wing and dangerous.Coelho also worked as an actor, journalist, and theatre director before pursuing his writing career. After drifting among several professions, Coelho changed his life's course while on a visit to Spain in 1986 at the age of 36. Coelho walked more than 500 miles along the Road to Santiago de Compostela, a site of Catholic pilgrimage. The walk and the spiritual awakening he experienced en route inspired him to write The Pilgrimage, an autobiographical account of the trek, in his native Portuguese. He quit his other jobs and devoted himself full-time to the craft of writing. “Hell Archives” was Coelho’s initial book which was published in 1982 and was not well received. The Pilgrimage was released in 1987 which is a reminiscence of the spiritual awakening he went through. In 1987, Coelho wrote a new book, The Alchemist, over the course of one two-week spurt of creativity. The allegorical novel was about an Andalusian shepherd boy who follows a mystical trek in which he learns to speak the "Language of the World" and thus receives his heart's desire. The book attracted little attention at first, until a French-language translation suddenly leapt onto bestseller lists in France in the early 1990s. New translations followed, and soon The Alchemist became a worldwide phenomenon. The book has sold, by Coelho's count, roughly 35 million copies, and is now the most translated book in the world by any living author. His 26 books have sold more than 65 million copies in at least 59 languages.Coelho has been married to his wife, the artist Christina Oiticica, since 1980. Together the couple spends half the year in Rio de Janeiro and the other half in a country house in the Pyrenees Mountains of France. In 1996, Coelho founded the Paulo Coelho Institute, which provides support to children and the elderly. He continues to write, following his own version of The Alchemist's "Language of the World."


He attended a Jesuit school, and from a young age Coelho dreamed of becoming a writer. Coelho enrolled in law school as a young manbut dropped out to travel.

Occupations and Career:

He is a lyricist and novelist. In 1982 Coelho published his first book, Hell Archives, which failed to make a substantial impact. In 1986 he contributed to the Practical Manual of Vampirism, although he later tried to take it off the shelves since he considered it “of bad quality." After making the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in 1986, Coelho wrote The Pilgrimage. In 1988 The Alchemist was published. The novel sold only nine hundred copies initially and was not reprinted. Coelho's next book, Brida, was well-received, however, and as a result, both The Pilgrimage and The Alchemist became best-sellers.In total, Coelho has published 30 books. Three of them – The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries and Aleph – are autobiographical, while the majority of the rest are fictional, although rooted in his life experiences. Others, like Maktub and The Manual of the Warrior of Light, are collections of essays, newspaper columns, or selected teachings. In total, Coelho has sold more than 150 million books in over 150 countries worldwide (224 territories), and his works have been translated into 80 languages. He is the all-time bestselling Portuguese language author. Coelho also writes up to three blog posts a week at his blog. His other books include Brida (1990), O Dom Supremo: The Gift (1991), The Valkyries (1992), By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept (1994), The Fifth Mountain (1996), Love Letters from a Prophet (1997), The Manual of the Warrior of Light (1997), Veronika Decides to Die (1998) and The Devil and Miss Prym (2000). Among his recent novels are Eleven Minutes – bestselling fiction title worldwide in 2003 –, The Zahir (2005), Like the Flowing River (2006), The Witch of Portobello (2006) and The Winner Stands Alone (2008) and Aleph (2010).

Awards /Honors:

He is the recipient of numerous international awards, amongst them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum.


  • O Diário de um Mago (1987, novel, The Pilgrimage)
  • O Alquimista (1988, novel, The Alchemist)
  • Brida (1990, novel)
  • O Dom Supremo (1991, novel, The Gift)
  • As Valkírias (1992, novel, The Valkyries)
  • Maktub (1994, novel)
  • Na margem do rioPiedraeusentei e chorei (1994, novel, By the River Piedra I Sad Down and Wept)
  • O Monte Cinco (1996, novel, The Fifth Mountain)
  • Cartas de Amor do Profeta (1997, novel, Love Letters from a Prophet)
  • Manual do Guerreiro da Luz (1997, platitudes, Warrior of the Light: A Manual)
  • Veronika decide morrer (1998, novel, Veronika Decides to Die)
  • Palavrasessenciais (1999, quotations)
  • O Demônio e a Srta. Prym (2000, novel, The Devil and Miss Prym)
  • Histórias para pais, filhos e netos (2001, juvenile, Fathers, Sons and Grandsons)
  • OnzeMinutos (2003, novel, Eleven Minutes)
  • O Gênio e as Rosas (2004, juvenile, The Genie and the Roses)
  • O Zahir (2005, novel, The Zahir)
  • Sercomo o rioqueflui (2006, novel, Like the Flowing River)
  • A bruxa de Portobello (2006, novel, The Witch of Portabello)
  • Vencederestásó (2009, novel, The Winner Stands Alone)
  • O Aleph (2010, Aleph)
  • ManuscritoEncontradoem Accra (2012, Manuscript Found in Accra)
  • Adultério (2014, Adultery)

Quotes and Memoirs:

Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worse kind of suffering.
Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.
You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.
Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search ofits dream.
You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one; each day brings a miracle of its own. It's just a matter of paying attentionto this miracle.
People are very reluctant to talk about their private lives but then you go to the internet and they're much more open.
I'm not saying that love always takes you to heaven. Your life can become a nightmare. But that said, it is worth taking the risk.
I cry very easily. It can be a movie, a phone conversation, a sunset - tears are words waiting to be written.
Of course, to have money is just great because you can do what you think is important to you. I always was a rich person because money's not relatedto happiness.
If you start by promising what you don't even have yet, you'll lose your desire to work towards getting it.
I think you can have 10,000 explanations for failure, but no good explanation for success.
I've done everything I wanted to do, even if I have had to pay a very high price - which has been the case most of the time.
Writers are lampposts and critics are dogs. Ask lampposts what they think about dogs. Does the dog hurt the lamppost?