Pelé Had 7 Kids With 4 Women Before His Death—See All His Children & Where They Are Now
He may have been known as one of the greatest international football players of all time, but to Pelé’s kids, he was just their dad.
Pelé, whose full name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, was born on October 23, 1940, in Três Corações, Minas Gerais, Brazil. His professional international football career started as a teenager when he started playing for Santos Futbol Clube at 15 years old and Brazil’s national team at 16 years old. Pelé earned the nickname O Rei—”The King” in Portuguese—after he won his first FIFA World Cup with Brazil’s national team in 1958. He won his second FIFA World Cup in 1962 followed by his third in 1970. At the time of his career, Pelé—who is credited for connecting the phrase “The Beautiful Game” with football—held the Guinness World Record for the most goals with 1,279 goals in 1,363 games. After two decades in the sport, Pelé announced his retirement from professional international football in 1977.
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Pelé was married three times throughout his life. He married his first wife, Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi, in 1966 and welcomed three children with her: daughters Kely and Jennifer, and son Edinho. They divorced in 1982. He married his second wife, Assiria Seixas Lemos, in 1994 and had two children with her: son Joshua and daughter Celeste. They divorced in 2008. Pelé married his first and final wife, Marcia Aoki, in 2016. The two stayed married until Pelé’s death in 2022. So who are Pelé kids? Read on for what we know about Pelé’s kids and children from his three marriages and other relationships.
Who are Pelé’s kids?
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Who are Pelé’s kids? Read on for a list of Pelé’s kids and children from his three marriages and other relationships.
Kely Christina Arantes do Nascimento
Birthday: January 13, 1967
Kely Christina Arantes do Nascimento is Pelé’s first child and daughter with his first wife, Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi. She was born on January 13, 1967. She is married to Anthony DeLuca and is the mother of four children: Malcolm, Ruby, Enzo, and Ella.
In her Instagram bio, Kely describes herself as a “storyteller, public speaker” in “sports diplomacy, sports for development, equity and peace.” She is the founder of the Nascimento Foundation, an organization whose mission is to create a sustainable and peaceful future through sports and arts programs. “Building a better future for the world’s children has always been [Pelé] goal and will be remembered as one of the traits of his legacy. After scoring his 1000th goal he stood on a podium and urged the world to take this moment and ‘look at the children,'” Kely wrote on the Nascimento Foundation’s website. She continued, “It is to build upon these characteristics and principals that we, as Pele’s daughters, founded Nascimento Foundation—peace, education and equality on a global scale, in order to build a sustainable future.”
Kely also directed the 2020 documentary, Warriors of a Beautiful Game, about women in international football. She gave a Ted x Talk about the subject and the documentary in June 2022. Kely has also worked with the United Nations in its Sustainable Development Goals division.
After Pelé’s death, Kely honored her father in an Instagram post of her and their family holding his hand. “Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace. 💔💔💔,” she captioned the post. A week before Pelé’s death, Kely revealed on her Instagram that she and her family would spend Christmas with him in the hospital as his colon cancer worsened. “We decided with the doctors that, for various reasons, it would be better for us to stay here with all the care that this new family at Einstein gives us!!” she wrote. “We, as always, thank you for all the love you show us here in Brazil as well as around the world! Your love for him and your stories and prayers are a HUGE comfort because we know we are not alone.”
Flávia Arantes do Nascimento
Flávia Arantes do Nascimento is Pelé’s second child and daughter with journalist Lenita Kurtz. She was born in 1968 while Pelé was still married to his first wife, Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi. Flavia works as an advisory counselor at Hospital Infantil Pequeno Principe, also known as Little Prince Hospital, in Curitiba, Brazil, which was recognized by Newsweek in 2021 was one of the best pediatric hospitals in the world. She was invited to serve on the Board of Trustees of the hospital in November 2021. “With great pride I received the invitation to be part of the Board of Trustees of the Little Prince Hospital,” she wrote in an Instagram post at the time.
Sandra Regina Machado Nascimento
Sandra Regina Machado Nascimento was Pelé’s third child and daughter with housemaid Anisia Machado. She was born in 1963 from an affair Pelé had with Machado while he was married to his first wife, Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi. In 1991, after years of Pelé denying he was her father and refusing to submit to DNA tests, Sandra sued Pelé and was recognized by the court as his daughter based on DNA evidence in 1993. Pelé appealed the court’s decision, but the verdict was upheld and Sandra was allowed to adopt Pelé’s surname, Nascimento. Sandra later published a book titled The Daughter the King Didn’t Want about her journey to have Pelé recognize her as his daughter. She also went on to win a city council seat in Santos, Brazil.
In 2001, Sandra sued Pelé again and requested that she receive more financial compensation from her father, claiming she didn’t receive the same amount as her half-siblings, Kely, Jennifer and Edson. The court rejected the claim. Sandra died from breast cancer in October 2006. She was 42 years old. She left behind a husband and two children.
Edinho “Edson” Arantes do Nascimento
Birthday: August 27, 1970
Edinho “Edson” Arantes do Nascimento is Pelé’s fourth child and son with his first wife, Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi. He was born on August 27, 1970. Like Pelé, Edinho, who was nicknamed Edson by his father, was also a professional international football player and played for four Brazilian football clubs from 1990 to 1999: Santos, Portuguesa Santista, São Caetano and Ponte Preta. After he retired, Edinho was hired by Santos as a goalkeeping coach in 2007 and was promoted to an assistant coach in 2015. After that, Edinho went on to work at several different clubs, including one in Pelé’s hometown, Tricordiano—before returning to Santos as a development coordinator and then a manger in 2019. He was hired as a coach for Londrina Football Club in December 2022.
In 2005, Edinho was arrested on money laundering and drug trafficking charges. Though he denied the charges, he was sentenced in 2014. While he was in jail, Pelé visited him and fought for his son’s innocence.
Jennifer Cholby Arantes do Nascimento
Birthday: June 1978
Jennifer Cholby Arantes do Nascimento is Pelé’s fifth child and daughter with his first wife, Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi. She was born in June 1978. Unlike her family, Jennifer has kept most of her life private, with few details known and photos released of her, except from one picture of Pelé holding her as a baby.
Joshua Arantes do Nascimento
Birthday: September 28, 1996
Joshua Arantes do Nascimento is Pelé’s sixth child and son with his second wife, Assiria Seixas Lemos. He was born on September 28, 1996, along with his twin sister, Celeste Arantes do Nascimento. According to public records obtained by People, Joshua was also a professional international football player like his father, Pelé, and his older half-brother, Edson. Per the records, Joshua played for Santos in 2013 and 2014. Two years later, he moved to the United States, and played for the Spartans soccer team at the University of Tampa in 2016. according to his Instagram bio, Joshua has a bachelor’s of science degree in exercise physiology and sports performance. He still lives in the United States and works in strength and conditioning. He’s also a coach at the Golden Goal Soccer Academy in Florida.
Celeste Arantes do Nascimento
Birthday: September 28, 1996
Celeste Arantes do Nascimento is Pelé’s seventh child and daughter with his second wife, Assiria Seixas Lemos. She was born on September 28, 1996, along with her twin brother,Joshua Arantes do Nascimento. Though Celeste has a private Instagram account, she has made rare appearances in her half-siblings social media pages, such as an Instagram photo Kely posted in December 2022 about “gratitude.”
Why Soccer Matters by Pelé
Buy: ‘Why Soccer Matters’ by Pele $15.99
For more about Pelé, read his 2015 memoir, Why Soccer Matters: A Look at More Than Sixty Years of International Soccer. The book takes readers through Pelé’s 20-year international football career, from his three World Cup championship wins to his record-breaking 1,283 goals. The autobiography also dives into Pelé’s decision to retire from football in 1977, his work as international football’s global ambassador and how he’s inspired future generations of professional football players like Neymar, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. “I know in my heart that soccer was good to me, and great to the world….I saw, time and again, how the sport improved countless millions of lives, both on and off the field. For me, at least, that’s why soccer matters,” Pelé writes in Why Soccer Matters.
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