Roald Dahl, an author celebrated for his uniquely humorous children's fiction, was born in Llandaff, Wales, on September 13, 1916. Although he was born a British citizen and is categorized among British authors, Dahl was actually of Norwegian parentage. Dahl obtained his education in his hometown of Llandaff, as well as at several English boarding schools; however, he was not unacquainted with his heritage, and summer holidays were reserved for trips to Norway. Despite family expectations, Dahl chose not to attend university, and took up a position with Shell Petroleum when he was eighteen. This occupation stationed him in Africa, where, by this time on the cusp of World War II, he joined the Royal Air Force. It was in 1942, while living in Washington as an Assitant Air Attache, that he began to cultivate his writing talent. Although a skilled airman, and by the end of the war, a flight lieutenant, this was eclipsed by his clever and masterful way with storytelling.
After establishing himself in the writer's world by creating works for adults, Roald Dahl began his long list of delightful and beloved literature for children, among which are such masterpieces as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and The Twits, as well as two autobiographies entitled Boy (pertaining to his childhood summers in Norway) and Flying Solo (full of stories of flight adventures, injuries, and dangerous wildlife while in Africa). Dahl was married for thirty years to actress Patricia Neal, with whom he had five children. Upon his death of leukemia in his Buckinghamshire home, on November 23, 1990, Roald Dahl left quite a legacy behind him: his charity in neurology, literacy, and hematology are maintained through the Roald Dahl Foundation, founded by Dahl's second wife, Felicity Dahl; one of his daughters directs a health care oranization for poverty-sticken communities worldwide; and another daughter and granddaughter have each tapped into the family writing talent as authors. Most memorable, however, are the nonsensical contributions that Roald Dahl has given to children's literature, which have amused young and old alike with their inimitable wit and humorous situations since their first publication.
His books include: