Luis Fernando Verissimo was born in Porto Alegre on September 26, 1936, to Erico Verissimo and Mafalda Volpe Verissimo. He and Lúcia Helena Massa, to whom he has been married since 1964, have three children: Fernanda, Mariana and Pedro.

During his childhood, he lived for two years in California with his parents and his sister Clarissa, attending Argonne School in San Francisco.

In 1952, he finished his junior-high studies at the Instituto Porto Alegre. He returned to live in the US in 1954, this time in Washington. During the four years he spent there, he took up the saxophone.

In 1956, he graduated from Roosevelt High School, in Washington, DC.

In 1956, back in Porto Alegre, Brazil, he was employed in the art and planning department at Globo publishing house. In 1962, he moved to Rio de Janeiro, where he worked as a translator and writer for trade publications.

In 1964, he worked as an editor for the Rio de Janeiro Chamber of Commerce newsletter. Two years later, he once again returned to Porto Alegre.

In 1967 he joined the newsdaily Zero Hora as a proofreader and soon began writing a daily column. He held this position until 1970, when he moved to the Folha da Manhã, where he also had a daily column.

Around 1975, shortly before Folha closed its doors, he resumed his position as a columnist at Zero Hora, where he works till today.

In 1969, he joined MPM Propaganda as a copywriter.

From 1982 to 1989, he wrote a page of humor for the nationwide weekly magazine Veja.

In 1989, he began writing a weekly column for the newsdaily O Estado de São Paulo.

From 1991 through 1996, he received numerous awards, including: Journalistic Impartiality Award (1991), Human Rights Award (from 1989 through 1994) and the Opinion-Maker Award (1996).

From 1995 until 1999, he wrote a daily column that appeared on Jornal do Brasil’s op-ed page, syndicated throughout Brazil. He also wrote for the Jornal do Brasil’s Sunday supplement "Domingo" for around two decades.

In 1999, he transferred to O Globo, where he now has a daily column. His comic strip "As Cobras" (The snakes) also appears every day in O Estado de São Paulo, Jornal do Brasil and Zero Hora. He is a regular contributor to the magazines Playboy and Cláudia.