Pelé, one of the greatest footballer’s that ever graced the game, died on December 29, 2022. In one of my previous incarnations as editorial and creative director at London’s Gloria Books (now closed), I am proud to have produced this Pelé collectable — a king-sized illustrated biography covering the key moments in the Brazilian football legend’s life.
The book was a mammoth undertaking which took over a year to compile. It includes exclusive contributions from Pelé himself, plus many of the eras leading sports writers. The images were exhaustively researched across photo libraries and personal archives in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, London, New York and Paris, and resulted in the discovery of many unseen photographs. The tome includes the work of photographers such as Neil Leifer, William Klein, Juergen Teller and Lichfield, plus art by Andy Warhol.
The completed biography is comprised of 720 pages, 250,000 words and over 1,700 images. It was printed in a limited edition of 2,500 copies, each of which was signed by Pelé himself. The book was presented in an XXL-sized format, measuring 45cms x 35cms.
Brazilian football legend Peléand Gloria Books editorial director Ben Arogundade at the London launch of the Pelé collectable, March 13, 2009. Below: page spreads from Pelé’s illustrated biography.