Roald Dahl Biography

by Madison Weil

Early LIfe

Roald Dahl was born September 13, 1916 in Llandaff, South Wales, United Kingdom. He was a mischievous child, full of energy and had a talent of finding trouble. Dahl had 3 sisters, Else, Asta, and Astri, who died the same year as their dad, in 1920. Dahl was only 4 when his dad and sister passed away. His father's late wish was for him to go to an English school, so the first one Dahl attended to was Llandaff Cathedral School. Then in 1925, he began his schooling at St. Peter's and Weston-super-Mare, followed by moving to Repton for the rest of his schooldays.


Later Life

In 1934, Dahl began working for Shell Oil in Bexley, Kent. While on a 3 year contract with Shell, he was sent to Dar-es-Salaam in Autumn 1938. After only a year in his contract, World War 2 broke out and Dahl joined the Royal Air Force as a pilot. On a trip posted to Libya, he was involved in a plane crash but after 6 months rejoined his Air Force squadron. When Dahl was in his 30's, he had completed his first paid piece of writing as Shot Down Over Libya, then later titled A Piece of Cake. He also worked on the Gremlins and published is first short story collection and adult novel. When he was an adult he met future his future wife, Patricia Neal, who then married Dahl on July 2, 1953 when he was 37. Soon, him and his wife buy the Little Whitefield Cottage in Great Missenden and had their first born, Olivia, not much later. Followed by Theo, their second. While Dahl was publishing and writing more stories, Olivia sadly died 7 years later and also published a book out to his mother who also died 5 years later from Olivia. For many years after that, he watched as one of his books became a film, and more books became published. Then in November 1990, it became a devastating month, when Dahl passed away, but his legacy continues.

Why He Became An Author/Writer

After a horrible plane crash in 1940 on a posted trip to Libya and rejoining the Royal Air Force squadron, now aged 26, he was not able to fly anymore. In Washington he meets a British novelist, C.S. Forester, who encouraged him to write about his experience in the dessert. In 1942 he had his first piece of writing, based on his flight in Libya, published anonymously as Shot Down Over Libya, then later called A Piece of Cake. Dahl began working on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory shortly after finishing James and the Giant Peach. Dahl's early publishes were more realistic in nature and for adults, very different from the kid's books he is known for writing. The Gremlins were not successful so he focused more on adults until he found success with children's stories.

My favorite book/story

I've never read a book by him but I do know the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This book was about a man named, Willy Wonka. As the owner of his very own chocolate factory, he decided to open the doors to 5 children and their parents. To find out who would be joining him that day, he had given them all Wonka chocolate bars. If you find a golden ticket in yours, you are chosen. The 5 were quickly found. One was found by a greedy boy named, Augustus, a spoiled girl named Veruca, gum addict, Violet, TV obsessed Mike, and Charlie Bucket. In the factory, Charlie and his grandpa enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells throughout the factory while the 4 other naughty kids get ejected from the factory one by one.


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The Marvellous World of Roald Dahl BBC Documentary 2016