Roald Dahl was a man who wove magic with his writings. He wore multiple hats, a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot. He was born in Llandaff, Wales, on 13th September 1916 to Norwegian parents. His father and elder sister passed away when he was small. His mother sent him to boarding school – first to St Peter’s, Weston-super-Mare and to Repton in 1929. The stay in Repton had a huge impact on Dahl. This later inspired his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
During the World War II he was a pilot for the Royal Air Force. He also became a spy for MI6 when he was recruited by the Canadian spymaster William Stephenson.
Dahl’s first book for children was The Gremlins published in 1943. The characters and stories he wrote was inspired by the people and places around him. He was a magician when it came to words and readers’ needs. Though some of his books had a dark side it was appreciated widely by his readers. His art at coining new words was “splendiferous”. These words have been featured in ‘Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary’ which has roughly 8,000 words invented or popularised by the author.
Roald Dahl died on 23 November 1990, aged 74. He was buried in the parish church in the Buckinghamshire village where The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is situated.