Paulo Coelho Age, Wife, Family, Story, Biography, Facts & More
Paulo Coelho de Souza
Novelist, Writer, Lyricist
Physical Stats & More
in centimeters - 173 cm
in meters - 1.73 m
in feet inches - 5’ 8”
in Kilograms - 75 kg
in Pounds - 165 lbs
Date of Birth
August 24, 1947
Age (as in 2018)
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Zodiac sign/Sun sign
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Our Lady Victorious School, Botafogo
St. Ignatius College, Rio de Janeiro
Acting- Amor em Quatro Tempos (1970) Screenwriting- Amante Latino (1979) Lyricist- "Este Tal de Roque Enrow" in Grandes Nomes (TV Series, 1980) Book- Theatre in Eduation (1974)
Father- Pedro Queima de Coelho de Souza (Engineer) Mother- Lygia Coelho (Homemaker) Sister- Sonia Coelho (Writer) Brother- N/A
Christianity (Roman Catholic)
Address (Fan mail)
Instituto Paulo Coelho
Av Nossa Sra. de Copacabana 749
22050-002 Rio de Janeiro / RJ
• In 2008, his biography titled "Paulo Coelho" stirred controversy in Brazil as journalist Fernando Morais claimed that the Brazilian Academy of Letters (ABL) accepted his honorary acceptance in 2002, for him being childless and popular, and it was assumed that after his death, he could leave a part of his wealth to the institution. Though the book was supposed to get released at ABL headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, the institution abandoned the ceremony on hearing about the speculation over his wealth's division.
• In 2012, he gave a controversial comment about James Joyce's 'Ulysses,' that topped various polls to be named the greatest novel of the 20th century.
Speaking to a Brazilian newspaper, Coelho said "One of the books that caused great harm was James Joyce's Ulysses, which is a pure style. There is nothing there. Stripped down, Ulysses is a twit."
• In 2016, a Sydney-based jewelry designer, Laura Byrne, claimed that Coelho took a quote that she posted on Instagram in 2014 and used it as his own by posting it to his social media page on January 6, 2016.
Shah Rukh Khan
Once Upon a Time in the West, Lawrence of Arabia
Tropic of Cancer By Henry Miller
Girlfriends, Affairs and More
Vera Prnjatovic Richter (1969)
Christina Oiticica (Brazilian Artist, 1980-present)
Son- None Daughter- None
Some Lesser Known Facts About Paulo Coelho
Does Paulo Coelho smoke?: No
Does Paulo Coelho drink alcohol?: Yes
Coelho was born into a middle-class family of a logical engineer father, and a religious housewife mother of strong Catholic belief.
He had a narrow escape during his birth as it was a complicated delivery. Due to his broken collarbone, doctors initially declared him dead, but when he was given last rites, a nurse noticed a light sound but was in a deep coma.
Few years after he was enrolled in his primary school, he started scoring bad in his academics as he developed an interest in story reading and storytelling.
At the age of 9, he contested in his first writing competition and eventually went on to win it.
After he failed in his primary entrance exam for the secondary school, his parents scolded him by sending him to a camp for 2 months where he had to attend private classes along with physical exercises. Despite that, he again failed the entrance exam, and finally cleared it on the third attempt with average marks.
When he was around 12 years old, he started writing a dairy on a regular basis.
Apart from writing, he also used to record his feelings on a tape recorder and made a collection of such tapes.
During the early part of his childhood, he was quite skinny as he suffered from asthma.
As a teenager, he became an atheist despite being brought up in a strict Jesuit tradition.
At the age of 15, he enrolled in the science stream to fulfill the wish of his father of becoming an engineer. But, his writing bug didn’t let him concentrate, and the very next year, he told his mother that he wanted to become a writer, not an engineer.
In 1964, he started visiting theaters to meet artistic people and started reading as many books as he could to get a better understanding of himself and society.
The same year, his beloved grandfather died of a heart attack, after which he started questioning to God as he was in a dilemma, whether to have faith in God or not.
When he turned 17, he met Joel Macedo, who took him to ‘Paissandu Generation,’ where he got the chance to interact with intellectuals and activists in Rio. During the same time, he started working as a fresher newspaper reporter for ‘Diário de Notícias’ a Portuguese daily tabloid, where he used to write articles.
In 1965, when he just crossed his teenage, he copied his father’s signature to help his friend to get a job, and when his parents came to know about it, they sent him to a mental asylum because of various reasons, such as – his rebellious nature, poor academic records, behavioral issues, opinion issues with his father, his anxiety, insomnia, and fears of killing himself.
In 1968, he produced his first play called “Peter Pan,” which was a huge hit.
During the 1970s, he started taking cannabis as he was freed from his family. His theater success was more than his writing career, and his writing failures caused his inclination towards black magic.
In late 1971, he met Gisa, and few weeks after, they got married. When his wife got pregnant, he convinced her to abort the child, that emotionally drained her.
The same year, he met Raul Seixas, a music producer, with whom he started producing songs.
After a trip to Europe with his family in 1972, he was in a better mindset and started working on his first book. And, in 1974 he published his first book “Theatre in Eduation.”
In 1974, he and his wife, Gisa, were kidnapped in Rio de Janeiro, where they were tortured for few days. Though, the couple was released, his wife left him after this incidence as she suffered from Paranoia.
The same year, he went to New York, where he earned good amount of money as a consultant, and by writing text for his music producer friend Raul.
In 1983, his road trip on a pilgrimage to Santiago rejuvenated him to become a writer, which later inspired him to write the book “The Pilgrimage” (1987), his first success as a writer.
In his novel “Veronika Decides to Die” (1998), he shared his experiences related to his mental hospital encounter.
It is quite captivating that he wrote his bestseller “The Alchemist” (1998) in just 2 weeks. Though he wrote the book so quickly, it took it quite long to taste the first success of the book. Initially, only 900 copies of the book were published in Portuguese, which later went out of print. But he didn’t give up, went to a new publisher, added the beginning sentence “When you want something, the whole universe conspires to help you.” And, the icing on the cake was the 1993 release of its English version which took the novel to new heights.
The Alchemist has now sold over 65 million copies and has been translated into a record 80 languages, entering its name in the Guinness World Record for the most translated book by a living author in 2003.
In 1996, he founded the ‘Paulo Coelho Institute,’ that aims at supporting children and the elderly.
Coelho, along with his wife spends half a year in Rio de Janeiro and the remaining half in his country house in the Pyrenees Mountains of France.