Roald Dahl The BFG
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Matilda

Roald Dahl was born on September 13, 1916 in Llandaff, South Wales. He was the son of a ship-broker who died just two months after Roald’s sister Astri died of appendicitis at age seven. After graduating from high school, he went to work for Shell Oil Company in East Africa. When the war broke out in 1939, he drove to northern Africa and joined the Royal Air Force, learning to be a pilot. He was shot down in 1940 and spent six months recuperating in Alexandria. In 1942, he was sent to Washington, D.C., as an Air Attaché.

His first children’s story was published in 1943, entitled “The Gremlins,” a word which he is credited with inventing. In 1953, he married American actress Patricia Neal, with whom he fathered five children. Because of those children, he wrote another children’s book in 1960, James and the Giant Peach. In 1964, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published. He died in Oxford, England, in 1990.

His intriguing stories and books were written by the man who grew from the student whose English Composition teacher wrote on his paper, “I have never met a boy who so persistently writes the exact opposite of what he means. He seems incapable of marshaling his thoughts on paper.”

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