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Daily History

September 13 1916 Children’s author Roald Dahl is born


On September 13th 1916, Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) and James and the Giant Peach (1961), was born in South Wales.

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 attachÝ. 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.

This Day In History

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

6 thoughts on “September 13 1916 Children’s author Roald Dahl is born

  1. Thank you, Craig!

    Posted by Amy | September 13, 2012, 05:32
  2. Would you mind if I reblogged this?

    Posted by humanitysdarkerside | September 13, 2012, 21:17
  3. Reblogged this on humanitysdarkerside and commented:
    Roald Dahl was an amazing author. My children have adored him, especially my youngest. We have all of his audiobooks. An amazing man.

    Posted by humanitysdarkerside | September 14, 2012, 01:07
  4. Knew very little about this man – haven’t read any of his books and I haven’t seen the movie neither. Expect James Bond. Interesting reading.

    Posted by viveka | September 23, 2012, 08:50

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