Paulo Coelho: Biography, Career, Books & Net Worth (2024)

Who Is Paulo Coelho?

Paulo Coelho is one of the most impactful authors of our times. He is a Brazilian novelist best known for books like The AlchemistVeronika Decides to Die, and Eleven Minutes.

Full namePaulo Coelho de Souza
Born24 August 1947 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Pen name(s)Paulo Coelho (nickname: Paulinho)
GenresSpiritual, Romance, Fantasy, Philosophical
Net worth$500 million

They focus on life’s philosophy and spiritual awakening. Paulo Coelho is also a well-known lyricist, with contributions to some of the greatest Brazilian rock songs.

Paulo Coelho Biography

Early Life in Rio de Janeiro

Paulo Coelho was born on 24th August, 1947 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In early teenage years Coelho was admitted to a mental institution from which he escaped successfully in a few years. Before becoming a writer, Coelho attended law school at his parents’ wishes.

But unable to cope with the curriculum he dropped out a year later and started living as a hippie. He traveled widely across continents gathering knowledge, which later found expression in his books. Not much is known about his personal life except such details.

He has composed lyrics for Rita Lee, Elis Regina and Raul Seixas. Coelho has been married to Christina Oiticica since 1980.

Early Career

Paulo Coelho was inspired by his Santiago de Compostela journey and he began writing The Pilgrimage. However, Coelho’s first book was Hell Archives in 1982.

This was Coelho’s first novel and it was not very well received. Coelho was just an author without context.

However, he went on to write The Alchemist next year which became a best selling novel, magnifying his net worth. The Alchemist did what his debut novel couldn’t.

Paulo Coelho Books

  • The Alchemist
  • Veronika Decides to Die
  • Brida
  • The Witch of Portobello
  • Adultery
  • Hippie
  • The Zahir
  • The Pilgrimage
  • The Valkyries
  • By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
  • The Winner Stand Alone

Paulo Coelho Writing Career

The Alchemist

Originally written in Portuguese, he documents the spiritual awakening of a shepherd boy named Santiago. The Alchemist is a translated book and has been translated over 83 languages.

Eleven Minutes

One of his famous books, Eleven Minutes talks about the spiritual journey of a sex worker, who finds herself through sexual pleasure.

Veronika Decides To Die

Partly based on his own experiences in a mental institution, Veronika, a 24 year old, who has everything in life, decides to kill herself. This book focuses on the idea of madness.


Brida is the story of a young girl in search of knowledge of magic and wisdom.

Paulo Coelho’s Net Worth

As of 2023, Paulo Coelho’s net worth is roughly about 500 million dollars.

Paulo Coelho is among the top earning authors of our times, the way being led by J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series. J. K. Rowling is worth a billion dollars, followed by James Patterson.

Other rich authors include Jeffrey Archer (Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less), Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code), John Grisham (The Firm), Olivia Harrison (book on George Harrison), Tom Clancy (Clear and Present Danger), Stephen King (The Shining).

Paulo Coelho Institute

Paulo Coelho founded the Paulo Coelho Institute in 1996. The institute provides support to children and the elderly.

Virtual Paulo Coelho Foundation

One can take a virtual tour of the Paulo Coelho Foundation with this link.

Famous Paulo Coelho Quotes

Because you believed I was capable of behaving decently, I did. The Devil and Miss Prym

When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive. The Zahir

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. The Alchemist

Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. The Alchemist

When I had nothing to lose, I had everything. When I stopped being who I am, I found myself. Eleven Minutes

Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Brida

The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter. Veronika Decides to Die

There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them.

But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there. The Fifth Mountain

You are what you believe yourself to be. The Witch of Portobello

Anyone who loves in the expectation of being loved in return is wasting their time. The Devil and Miss Prym

Our true friends are those who are with us when good things happen. They cheer us on and are pleased by our triumphs. False friends only appear at difficult times, with their sad, supportive faces, when, in fact, our suffering is serving to console them for their miserable lives. The Zahir

If you love someone, you must be prepared to set them free. The Winner Stands Alone

Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do. Aleph

We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body. The Pilgrimage: A Contemporary Quest for Ancient Wisdom

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting. The Alchemist

The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times. The Alchemist

A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.

Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked.

Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure.

We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

Forgive but do not forget, or you will be hurt again. Forgiving changes the perspectives. Forgetting loses the lesson.

Love is not a habit, a commitment, or a debt. It isn’t what romantic songs tell us it is – love simply is.

A fall from the third floor hurts as much as a fall from the hundredth. If I have to fall, may it be from a high place.

We always have a tendency to see those things that do not exist and to be blind to the great lessons that are right there before our eyes. The Pilgrimage: A Contemporary Quest for Ancient Wisdom

‘I’ve been through all this before,’ he says to his heart.

Yes, you have been through all this before,’ replies his heart. ‘But you have never been beyond it. Warrior of the Light


Paulo Coelho is an author, theater director, lyricist whose books have been bestselling authors for more than consecutive 400 weeks. He is married to artist Christina Oiticica.

His books have been adapted into successful films. Paulo Coelho net worth is as high as 500 million dollars. He’s one of the masters of fiction writing in the contemporary world.

Tomas Laurinavicius

Hi! I'm Tomas. I'm a founder, marketer, designer, and blogger from Lithuania, now happily living in Alicante, Spain. I'm a marketing advisor at Devsolutely and a partner at Craftled, building Best Writing and Marketful.