Paulo Coelho | Biography, Career, Quotes, Net Worth and More

NamePaulo Coelho
Full NamePaulo Coelho de Souza
BornAugust 24, 1947
Age76 year
Birth PlaceRio de Janeiro, Brazil
SpouseChristina Oiticica (m 1980)
ProfessionLyricist, writer, Self-improvement
AchievementOne of the most widely read authors in the world today. He has received numerous international awards, including the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum.
Net Worth$530 million

Born on 24 August 1947 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Paulo Coelho is a world famous novelist and lyricist. Many books have been written by him, which are read all over the world. The Alchemist is his most successful book, which has been translated into about 80 languages. He has been awarded many international awards and is the most followed author on social media.


Paulo Coelho de Souza is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. He is best known for his novel The Alchemist. In 2014, he uploaded his personal documents to the Internet to create a virtual Paulo Coelho Foundation.

Paulo Coelho was born in Brazil and attended a Jesuit college. As a teenager, Coelho wanted to become a writer. Saying this to his mother, she replied, “My dear, your father is an engineer. He is a logical and reasonable man with a very clear view of the world. Do you really know what it means to be a writer?”

At 17, Coelho’s introversion and his opposition to following a traditional path led his parents to commit him to a mental institution from which he escaped three times before being released at age 20. Born into a Catholic family, his parents were strict with religion. and Faith Coelho later commented that “It wasn’t that they wanted to hurt me, but they didn’t know what to do… They didn’t do that to destroy me, they did it to save me.” At the wish of his parents, Coelho enrolled in law school and abandoned his dream of becoming a writer.

A year later, he dropped out and lived as a hippie, traveling through South America, North Africa, Mexico and Europe and began using drugs in the 1960s.

Upon his return to Brazil, Coelho worked as a composer, composing lyrics for Elis Regina, Rita Lee, and Brazilian icon Raul Seixas. Composing with Raúl led Coelho to be associated with magic and the occult, due to the content of some songs.

In 1974, Coelho was arrested for “subversive” activities by the ruling military government, which had seized power ten years earlier and considered his lyrics left-wing and dangerous. Coelho also worked as an actor, journalist, and theater director before pursuing his career as a writer.

In 1980, Coelho married the artist Christina Oiticica. Together they had previously spent half the year in Rio de Janeiro and the other half in a country house in the French Pyrenees, but the couple now reside permanently in Geneva, Switzerland.

In 1986, Coelho walked the more than 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, a turning point in his life. Along the way, Coelho had a spiritual awakening, which he autobiographically described in The Pilgrimage. In an interview, Coelho stated: “[In 1986], I was very happy with the things I was doing. I was doing something that gave me food and water; to use the metaphor in The Alchemist, I was working, I had a person whom I loved , I had money, but my dream was not fulfilled. My dream was, and still is, to be a writer.” Coelho would leave his lucrative career as a composer and devote himself to writing full-time.

In 1996, he founded the Paulo Coelho Institute, which provides support to children and the elderly.

Coelho posts up to three times a week on his blog and has millions of followers on both Facebook and Twitter. He discussed his relationship with readers through social media platforms with The Wall Street Journal in August 2014. Another breakthrough came in November 2014, when he finished uploading around 80,000 documents (manuscripts, diaries, photos, letters of readers, press clippings) and created a virtual site Paulo Coelho Foundation, together with the physical foundation that has its headquarters in Geneva.

Writing Career

In 1982 Coelho published his first book, Hell Archives, which did not have a substantial impact. In 1986 he contributed to the Practical Manual of Vampirism, although he later tried to remove it from the shelves as “shoddy”. After making a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in 1986, Coelho wrote The Pilgrimage, which was published in 1987. The following year, Coelho wrote The Alchemist and published it through a small Brazilian publisher that had an initial print run of 900 copies and decided to do not reprint. Later he found a larger publisher, and with the publication of his next book Brida, The Alchemist took off. HarperCollins decided to publish the book in 1994. It later became an international bestseller.

While trying to get over his procrastination in launching his writing career, Coelho said: “If I see a white feather today, it’s a sign that God is giving me that I have to write a new book.” Coelho found a white pen in a store window and began to write that day. Since the publication of The Alchemist, Coelho has generally written at least one novel every two years. Three of them, The Pilgrimage, Hippie, The Valkyries, and Aleph, are autobiographical, while most of the rest are largely fictional.

Other books, such as Maktub, The Warrior of Light Manual, and Like the Flowing River, are collections of selected essays, newspaper columns, or teachings. His work has been published in more than 170 countries and translated into eighty-one languages. Together, his books have sold in the hundreds of millions. On December 22, 2016, the British company Richtopia listed Coelho as number 2 on the list of the 200 most influential contemporary authors.

However, the reaction to his writings has not been without controversy. Although he was raised in a Catholic family and describes himself as of that faith even now, his stance has been described as incompatible with the Catholic faith, due to its New Age, pantheistic, and relativistic content. And whatever the sales of him, reviews of Coelho’s later work consistently point out his superficiality.

Paulo Coelho Quotes

  • The possibility of the dream coming true is what makes life interesting.
  • The only thing that makes the fulfillment of a dream impossible is the fear of failure.
  • When you really want to get something in life, then the whole universe tries to help you to achieve it.
  • Ordinary things are the most extraordinary and only intelligent people see them.
  • A child can teach an adult three things to be happy for no reason, to always be busy and to know how to find what he wants with full force.
  • It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.
  • When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.
  • One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.
  • The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.
  • Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.
  • Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
  • Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.
  • Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.
  • Don’t waste your time with explanations: people only hear what they want to hear.



What happened to Paulo Coelho?
Coelho married artist Christina Oiticica in 1980. Previously, they had spent half the year together in Rio de Janeiro and the other half in a country house in the French Pyrenees, but the couple now reside permanently in Geneva, Switzerland.

Did Paulo Coelho have Siblings?
Sonia coelho

What is the book The Alchemist famous for?
The Alchemist is a beautiful story about discovering your own destiny and never losing faith. The main character is a shepherd named Santiago who sets out to discover his personal legend by going on a journey to find an unknown treasure that has been appearing in a recurring dream.

What is Paulo Coelho known for?
Paulo Coelho de Souza is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. He is best known for his novel The Alchemist. In 2014, he uploaded his personal documents to the Internet to create a virtual Paulo Coelho Foundation. Paulo Coelho was born in Brazil and attended a Jesuit college.

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