Paulo Coelho de Souza born August 24, 1947. He is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. He is the recipient of numerous international awards, amongst them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum. His novel The Alchemist has been translated into 80 languages. Paulo Coelho has sold over 200 million copies worldwide and is the all-time bestselling Portuguese language author.
In 1982, Paulo 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, Paulo Coelho wrote The Pilgrimage that was published in the year 1987. The following year, Paulo Coelho wrote The Alchemist and published it through a small Brazilian publishing house who made an initial print run of 900 copies and decided not to reprint. He subsequently found a bigger publishing house, and with the publication of his next book Brida, The Alchemist took off. HarperCollins, the biggest publishing House in the United States, decided to publish the book in 1994. Then, it became first a Brazilian bestseller, later a world-wide phenomenon. The Alchemist has gone on to sell more than 83 million copies, becoming one of the best-selling books in history, and has been translated into 67 different languages, winning the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author.