Who Was Roald Dahl?
On Sunday 13th September, fans of Roald Dahl will celebrate Roald Dahl Day, which is held yearly on his birthday. Today would have been his 99th birthday.
Roald Dahl was born in Wales in 1916 to Norwegian parents. During World War II, Dahl served in the Royal Air Force as a flying ace and intelligence officer achieving the rank of acting wing commander.
During the 1940’s Dahl rose to prominence as an author with works for adults and children becoming one of the world’s best-selling authors and earning the position of one of the world’s best selling authors for children in the 20th Century.
Dahl’s stories were characterised as un-sentimental , containing very dark humour and unexpected endings. His works for children include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG, George’s Marvellous Medicine and The Twits.
Dahl received many awards for literature including the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement and the British Book Awards Children’s Author of The Year Award in 1990. In 2008 Dahl was placed 16th on the The Times List of 50 Greatest British Writers since 1945.
Roald Dahl died in November 1990 at the age of 74. According to his granddaughter, the family gave him a “sort of Viking funeral”. He was buried with his snooker cues, some very good burgundy, chocolates, HB pencils and a power saw.
In 1996 The Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery was opened at the Buckinghamshire Country Museum in Aylesbury.