Thursday, September 13, 2012

This Day in History: Sep 13, 1916: Children's author Roald Dahl is born

On this day in 1916, Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) and James and the Giant Peach (1961), is born in South Wales.

 Roald Dahl and Ernest Hemingway

Dahl's childhood was filled with tragedy. His father and sister died when Dahl was three, and he was later brutally abused at his boarding school. After high school, he traveled widely, joining an expedition to Newfoundland and later working in Tanzania. In World War II, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. He flew missions in Libya, Greece, and Syria, and was shot down in the Libyan desert, suffering serious injuries. (He saved a piece of his femur, removed in an operation after the accident, and later used it as a paperweight in his office.)

After he recovered, Dahl was sent to Washington, D.C., as an attache. There, the writer C.S. Forester suggested he write about his war experiences, and 10 days later Dahl had his first publication, in the Saturday Evening Post.

Dahl wrote his first book, The Gremlins, for Walt Disney, in 1943, and the story was later made into a Disney film. He wrote several popular adult books, including Someone Like You (1953) and Kiss Kiss (1959), and began writing stories for his own four children in 1960. James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory became bestsellers. He also wrote the screenplay for Charlie (with a title change-the movie was called Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), and a James Bond film, You Only Live Twice (1967).

Dahl did most of his writing on the family farm, writing two hours every morning, two hours every afternoon, and tending to the animals in between. He was divorced from his wife, Oscar-winning actress Patricia Neal, in 1983, and remarried. He died in 1990 at age 74.

Taken from: [13.09.2012]

Roald Dahl From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Roald Dahl (play /ˈr.ɑːl ˈdɑːl/,[2] Norwegian: [ˈɾuːɑl dɑl]; 13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, fighter pilot and screenwriter.
Born in Wales to Norwegian parents, he served in the British Royal Air Force during World War II, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence officer, rising to the rank of Wing Commander. Dahl rose to prominence in the 1940s, with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world's best-selling authors.[3][4] He has been referred to as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century".[5] In 2008 The Times placed Dahl 16th on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".[6] His short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children's books for their unsentimental, often very dark humour.

 File:Illuminated Roald Dahl Plas.jpg

Some of his notable works include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Twits, George's Marvellous Medicine and The BFG.

  1. ^ a b Roald Dahl Literary Influences
  2. ^ Pronunciation of Roald Dahl : How to pronounce Roald Dahl
  3. ^ a b Britain celebrates first Roald Dahl Day msnbc: "Dahl's books, many of them darkly comic and featuring villainous adult enemies of the child characters, have sold over 100 million copies." (13 September 2006)
  4. ^ a b Fans gather for Dahl celebration BBC News: "Exhibitions and children's reading campaigns are being held to commemorate the life of Dahl, who died in 1990 and has sold more than 100 million books." (13 September 2006)
  5. ^ a b c d e Once upon a time, there was a man who liked to make up stories ... The Independent (Sunday, 12 December 2010)
  6. ^ a b The 50 greatest British writers since 1945. The Times. 5 January 2008. Retrieved on 1 February 2010.

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