Alain de Botton Biography

(Philosopher and Author Known for His Books: ‘Essays in Love’ and ‘How Proust Can Change Your Life’)

Birthday: December 20, 1969 (Sagittarius)

Born In: Zürich, Switzerland

Alain de Botton is the ingenious English/Swiss author who has written a number of publications on a wide array of themes, ranging from contemporary to romance and philosophy. With his pragmatic approach to life and his philosophical ideals, he has penned over 30 best-selling books and is also the founder of ‘The School of Life’, an educational/philosophical institution in London. His works have time and again emphasized the philosophical relevance per diem, which is clearly reflected in his publications including, ‘Essays in Love’, ‘How Proust Can Change Your Life’, ‘Status Anxiety’ and ‘The Architecture of Happiness’. Many of these works have also been adapted for television. In his younger days, he often contributed articles to numerous newspapers, magazines and journals. Considered Britain’s ‘modern Wordsworth’, he is at present, a panel member of the ‘Arts Council of England’s Literature’ and is also co-managing a production house, ‘Seneca Productions’. Apart from his creative pursuits, he established the architectural organization, ‘Living Architecture’, which is now a major home rental firm in the UK. He currently lives in his apartment in London and is known to many, as a man with multitudinous shades like modesty, cageyness and tinges of arrogance. If you would like to learn more about this compelling personality, scroll further.

Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In December

Age: 54 Years, 54 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Charlotte de Botton (m. 2003)

father: Gilbert de Botton,

mother: Jacqueline Burgauer

siblings: Miel

Born Country: Switzerland

Quotes By Alain De Botton Philosophers

Ancestry: Egyptian Swiss

Notable Alumni: Gonville And Caius College, Cambridge

Grouping of People: Jewish Writer

City: Zürich, Switzerland

Founder/Co-Founder: Global Asset Management

More Facts

education: Harvard University, King's College London, Gonville And Caius College, Cambridge

Childhood & Early Life
Alain de Botton was born to Jacqueline de Botton and Gilbert de Botton, in Zurich.
From a very young age, he was exposed to a variety of ethnicities as his father was brought up in Egypt and his mother was born in Switzerland. His name, Alain, is a typical Sephardic Jew name and he was introduced to both, French and German cultures.
His father, at the time, was the wealthy co-founder of the organization, ‘Global Asset Management’. He has a step-sister, Miel.
He studied at Dragon School and opted for English as his first language. He then enrolled to Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge, where he studied MA in History from 1988 to 1991.
He obtained his MPhil in Philosophy from King’s College, University of London between the years 1991 and 1992. He decided to pursue PhD in French Philosophy at Harvard University, but gave it up as soon as he discovered his passion for writing.
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He authored his first best-seller novel, ‘Essays in Love’ in 1993, which focused on the themes of love and complicated relationships.
In 1997, he penned ‘How Proust Can Change Your Life’, a work of literature, which centered on the works and life of Marcel Proust.
From 1998 to 2000, he contributed articles to a number of English papers including the popular, ‘The Independent on Sunday’.
In 2000, he authored, ‘The Consolations of Philosophy’, the title of which was inspired by ‘Consolation of Philosophy’, a philosophical work by Boethius. Through this book, he attempted to assay the teachings of the famous philosophers including Seneca, Socrates, Nietzsche and Epicurus.
He dabbled with a new style of expressive writing for ‘The Art of Travel’, published in 2002. The book offers a philosophical outlook at the omnipresent but uncharacteristic activity of wishful traveling, with extensive thoughts on airports, landscapes, photographs, exotic locations and hotels.
In 2004, he published one of his greatest works, ‘Status Anxiety’, which talks about the everyday problems humans face with anxiety in reference to how they think they are treated, how they would wish to be treated, as well as issues related to inadequacy and social judgments.
Two years later, he authored, ‘The Architecture of Happiness’, in which he described the therapeutic effect that architecture can have on people and the society as a whole. This book also gives a brief insight into his views on Modernist and vernacular architecture.
In 2008, he co-established ‘The School of Life’, a cultural and educational institution, based in London.
2009 was a year of great fecundity and he penned two novels, ‘The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work’ and ‘A Week at the Airport’. The same year, he founded a new architectural project namely, ‘Living Architecture’, which is involved in the construction of contemporary housing in the United Kingdom.
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Through 2011, he presented a series of talks on BBC Radio 4 in a show called, ‘A Point of View’.
In 2012, he published ‘Religion for Atheists’ and another book, ‘How to Think More about Sex’, was published by his organization, ‘The School of Life’.
Major Works
‘Essays in Love’, also titled as, ‘On Love’, authored in 1993, was his first novel and is considered his magnum opus and it went on to sell over two million copies around the US and UK. The novel was also adapted into film titled ‘My Last Five Girlfriends’, directed by Julian Kemp.
‘The Architecture of Happiness’, published in 2006, was widely appreciated by architects and architectural critics. The novel itself played a predominant role in the smash hit, ‘500 Days of Summer’ and is also the basis for the Channel 4 series, ‘The Perfect Home’.
Awards & Achievements
He was made the Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, for his contributions to architecture, in 2009.
In 2011, he was appointed as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
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Personal Life & Legacy
Following the death of his father, many believed that de Botton inherited all of his father’s wealth from the trust funds he left behind. However, he refuted such claims.
His step-mother is an illustrious bridge player in the UK and is also a benefactor of the arts.
He lives in London with Charlotte, his wife and they have two boys; Samuel and Saul.
This famous English/Swiss author’s earlier works were influenced by Julian Barnes, Milan Kundera, Nicholson Baker and Roland Barthes.
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