A Biography
by Lew Freedman
January 2014, 187pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-2980-2
$45, £35, 40€, A62
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-2981-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

A poverty-stricken Brazilian youth who became world-renowned as the greatest soccer player of all time, Pelé is the Michael Jordan of soccer.

How did a young boy born into poverty become not only an international soccer star but a celebrity who visited and dined with kings and presidents? Where did the passion that fueled his success originate? This book examines the life of Pelé to find the answers.

Pelé is not simply an extraordinarily talented athlete who achieved incredible success on the soccer field; his performances inspired millions of soccer fans as well as individuals outside the sport around the world. During the peak of his career, Pelé was arguably the most famous person in the world—at a time when there was no Internet or social media to help build sweeping international awareness of a pop star.

This work is the most up-to-date examination of Pelé’s life, covering his personal history from childhood, his star-studded career as a multi-time World Cup champion playing for Brazil, his experiences in the United States playing for the New York Cosmos, as well as Pelé’s more recent, current, and future activities as ambassador for Brazil when it hosts the World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016. All readers—ranging from the completely uninitiated who do not even recognize Pelé’s name, to die-hard soccer fans and players—will gain a full appreciation of the greatest soccer player of all time.


  • Provides detailed information about Pelé's life and amazing career that reveals the unique mindset that was instrumental to his success, allowing readers to fully appreciate how special and inspirational this athlete's accomplishments were
  • Supplies insights into how Pelé singlehandedly brought more worldwide attention to soccer and helped spawn professional soccer—and generate a true fanbase for the sport of soccer in general—in the United States
Lew Freedman is a veteran journalist who has authored 60 books—primarily about sports and Alaska—and won more than 250 journalism awards. He holds a bachelor of science degree in journalism from Boston University and a master's degree focused on international communication from Alaska Pacific University.
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.