Ahmed Köprülü was born in 1635 at Vezir Köprü in northern Anatolia. He was a member of the renowned Köprülü family originating from Albania. He was the eldest son of Köprülü Mehmed Paşa and his successor as grand vizier (1661–76) under the Ottoman sultan Mehmed IV. His father had risen from humble origins to become grand vizier in 1656 and, during his tenure of office, had renewed the war against the Venetians in the Aegean Sea and against Christian and Moslem enemies alike in central Europe and the Islamic lands.
He was dubbed Fazıl, meaning "wise" (from the Arabic fazilet, meaning "wisdom"), for reducing taxation and promoting education.