Roald Dahl (pronounced 'rolled doll') was a British author who wrote 19 children's books. He published his first book, James and the Giant Peach in 1961, when he was 45 years old. In 1964 he released another highly successful work, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was later adapted into film.
Roald was born in Wales, on September 13, 1916, to his Norwegian parents. He was a rambunctious and mischievous child and was always wishing for adventure more than academic learning. He disliked school work so much that he turned down his mother's offer to pay tuition at any university he wanted, and got a job with Shell Oil Company which allowed him to travel to many different countries. In 1939, Roald joined the Royal Air Force and after training in Nairobi, Kenya, he became a World War II fighter pilot. While serving in the Mediterranean, he crash-landed in Alexandria, Egypt. The plane crash left him with serious injuries to his skull, spine and hip but following a recovery that included a hip replacement and two spinal surgeries, Dahl was transferred to Washington, D.C., where he finished his military career and began writing books.
Despite their popularity, Dahl’s children’s books have been criticized for their portrayal of children’s harsh revenge on adult wrongdoers. In his defence, Dahl claimed that children have a cruder sense of humour than adults, and that he was merely trying to appeal to his readers. Dahl died on November 23, 1990, at the age of 74, in Oxford, England.
Roald Dahl would have been 100 years old in September 2016! Watch this video celebrating his life and work