Today in History
September 13, 1916
Roald Dahl, writer of James and the Giant Peach (1961), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) and Matilda (1988), is born in South Wales. He endures a tragic childhood (his father and sister die when he is three) and joins the Royal Air Force at the outbreak of World War II. As a fighter pilot, he flies in Greece, Syria and Libya, where he crash lands in the desert—all adventures that writer C.S. Forester, whom Dahl meets in Washington, DC, suggests he write about. Dahl heeds Forester's advice and writes a piece published in the Saturday Evening Post. He writes some popular adult books and screenplays, but is best known for his children's books, which his own children inspire him to write. Dahl dies in 1990, aged 74.
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