Black and white portrait of Douglas Pagels

As the author and editor of numerous books, Douglas Pagels has been a popular and widely acclaimed writer for many years. He is one of the most quoted contemporary writers on social media and online today, his books have sold over 3.5 million copies, and his work has been translated into a number of foreign languages and enjoyed the world over.

How best to categorize his books? Some are self-help, many are intended as gifts for friends, family, and loved ones, and others combine his own philosophy with life advice from well-known personalities and wonderful others. If there were genre categories for “inspiring” and “heartwarming,” his books would fit perfectly into those.

“Douglas Pagels has a poet’s heart and a way with words that I rarely see in print… this is the type of book you can read over and over again and each time it will be meaningful.” — recent review excerpt from an Amazon Hall of Fame, Top 500 Reviewer

One of the trademarks of Doug’s work is that it is so accessible. It gives the reader a feeling of simply listening in on a conversation that comes from the heart and touches other hearts in many different ways. The more one reads his words and shares in his insights, the easier it is to understand his enormously popular appeal.

Doug’s inspiration comes from many sources, including his enduring friendships and close-knit family. It comes from cherishing his forty-year relationship with his wife, from the devotion of being a father to two children, and from the many experiences he has had in his lifetime. While growing up, he lived in places as diverse as England and northern Montana before his family settled down for an extended stay in Colorado. Conversations around the dinner table were, at times, a four-generation affair, with ages ranging from eight to eighty-nine.

But other aspects of his background added insights that went beyond family and into a broader view of people — and life — in general. In his younger days, beginning at the age of ten and continuing throughout college and beyond, Doug worked various jobs — fourteen in all. They included delivering newspapers and working in stores and an auto body shop, along with jobs as a janitor, a groundskeeper, a forklift operator, a delivery man, and a variety of restaurant positions. Time spent with his fellow workers, both on and off the job, helped to foster a deeper understanding of — and compassion for — a wide segment of society.

If Doug has a keen insight into human nature, he credits it to his early and ongoing interaction with people from all walks of life, all types of jobs, and a variety of settings. From those relationships, he has developed an awareness of what makes people tick, how important their hopes and dreams are, how their entire universe can revolve around their loved ones, and, unfortunately, what a struggle their daily lives can sometimes be. His intuitive understanding of people cuts across social strata and leaves categories of age, economics, and nationality behind. There’s no substitute for real world experience, and Doug readily acknowledges the enormous influence his experiences have had on the content of his work.

In recent years, in addition to writing, editing, and raising a family, he has managed to find the time for plenty of other interests. Doug has spent a great deal of time as an advocate for local environmental issues, and in years past he could be found volunteering in classrooms, coaching basketball, and building a cabin in the Colorado mountains. He and his wife are frequent travelers, and his family has been the host family for many visiting college students from around the world.

It has been said of Doug’s writings that no one is better at touching on so many subjects that are deeply personal and truly universal at the same time. His words mirror those of our own innermost feelings and — in the end — it is our own special reflections that he helps us see.