Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl


9/13/1916, Llandaff, Wales, UK



Birth Name

Roald Dahl



Also Known As

The Most Scrumdidleyumptious Storytelller
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Childhood Roald Dahl was born at Villa Marie, Fairwater Road, Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales on 13 September 1916, to Norwegian parents, Harald Dahl and Sofie Magdalene Dahl (ne Hesselberg). He was named after the polar explorer Roald Amundsen, a national hero in Norway at the time. In 1920, when…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Ophelia Dahl is director and co-founder (with doctor Paul Farmer) of Partners in Health, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing health care to some of the most impoverished communities in the world. Lucy Dahl, is a screenwriter in Los Angeles. Tessa's daughter (who was the inspiration for the "helpmate" character in her grandfather's book The BFGis model and author Sophie Dahl who remembers him as "a very difficult man – very strong, very dominant ... not unlike the father of the Mitford sisters sort of roaring round the house with these very loud opinions, banning certain types - foppish boys, you know - from coming round."

    • Ophelia Dahl is director and co-founder (with doctor Paul Farmer) of Partners in Health, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing health care to some of the most impoverished communities in the world. Lucy Dahl, is a screenwriter in Los Angeles. Tessa's daughter (who was the inspiration for the "helpmate" character in her grandfather's book The BFGis model and author Sophie Dahl who remembers him as "a very difficult man – very strong, very dominant ... not unlike the father of the Mitford sisters sort of roaring round the house with these very loud opinions, banning certain types - foppish boys, you know - from coming round."

    • In 1965, Patricia Neal suffered three burst cerebral aneurisms while pregnant with their fifth child, Lucy. Roald took control of her rehabilitation and she eventually relearned to talk and walk. They were divorced in 1983 following a very turbulent marriage, and he subsequently married Felicity ("Liccy") Crosland, to whom he was married until his death.

    • When he was four months old, Theo Dahl was severely injured when his baby carriage was hit by a taxi in New York City. For a time he suffered from hydrocephalus: as a result his father became involved in the development of what became known as the "Wade-Dahl-Till" (or WDT) valve, a device to alleviate the condition.

    • The concept of the Golden Ticket has been parodied by a number of film and television shows, often as part of a plot that involves parodying Charlie and the Chocolate Factory itself.

      For example, in The Simpsons episode "Simple Simpson", Homer tries to win a tour of a bacon factory by uncovering a Golden Ticket in packs of bacon. In "Fry and the Slurm Factory", an episode of Futurama, Fry chokes on a Golden Bottlecap, which wins his friend a tour of the Slurm Factory. Also, in the Family Guy episode "Wasted Talent", Peter tries to win a tour of Pawtucket Pat's brewery by finding one of four Silver Scrolls hidden in bottles of beer.

    • He was married for 30 years (from 1953 to 1983) to Academy Award winning American actress Patricia Neal (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Hud, The Subject Was Roses,A Face in the Crowd)They had five children: Olivia, (who died of the measles encephalitis at the age of seven), Tessa, (now an author), Theo, Ophelia, and Lucy.

    • He ended the war as a Wing Commander

    • He began writing in 1942, after he was transferred to Washington as Assistant Air Attaché. His first published work, in the August 1, 1942 issue of the Saturday Evening Post was Shot Down Over Libya, describing the crash of his Gloster Gladiator. He had been asked to provide some RAF anecdotes by C.S. Forester who had them published as propaganda. His original title for the work was A Piece of Cake — the title was changed to sound more dramatic, despite the fact that the crash had nothing to do with enemy action.

    • He saw his first combat over the city of Chalcis and on April 15th shooing down a Junkers Ju-88 With his lone Hurricane against the six bombers that were attacking ships, On 16th April he claimed a Probable On April 20th Dahl took part in the Battle of Athens along with Squadron Leader 'Pat' Pattle and his friend David Coke shooting down another Ju-88.

      As the Germans were pressing Athens Dahl was evacuated back to Egypt 80 Squadron was reassembled in Haifa, Palestine. From here, Dahl flew missions every day for a period of four weeks, Dowanother JU-88 on 15th June,but then he began ning a Potez 63 on 8th june and to get blinding headaches that gave him black-outs in the air, and he was invalided home to Britain he was by this time a Flight Lieutenant .

    • By this time, 80 Squadron were at Elevsis, near Athens, Greece, and equiipped with Hawker Hurricane fighting with the British Expeditionary Force in the Battle of Greece,He flew a replacement Hurricane across the Mediterranean Sea in April 1941 Although he had only seven hours training on Hurricanes, By This Stage in the battle for Greece the RAF had only 18 combat planes in Greece 14 Hurricanes and 4 Bristol Blenheim

    • When his plane crashed, Dahl was rescued and taken to a first-aid post in Mersah Matruh, where he regained consciousness, but not his sight, and was then taken by train to the Royal Navy hospital in Alexandria. There he fell in love with a nurse, Mary Welland, who was the first person he saw when he regained his sight after eight weeks. The doctors said he had no chance of flying again, but in February 1941, five months after he was admitted to the hospital, he was discharged and passed fully fit for flying duties.

    • On 19 September 1940, Dahl was to fly his Gladiator from Abu Suweir in Egypt, on to Amiriya to refuel, and again to Fouka in Libya for a second refuelling. From there he would fly to 80 Squadron's forward airstrip 30 miles south of Mersah Matruh. On the final leg, he could not find the airstrip and, running low on fuel and with night approaching, he was forced to attempt a landing in the desert. Unfortunately, the undercarriage hit a boulder and the plane crashed, fracturing his skull, smashing his nose in, and blinding him. He managed to drag himself away from the blazing wreckage and passed out. Later, he wrote about the crash for his first published work (see below). It was found in a RAF inquiry into the crash that the location he had been told to fly to was completely wrong, and he had mistakenly been sent instead to the no man's land between the British and Italian forces.

    • In August 1939, as World War II was imminent, plans were made to round up the hundreds of Germans in Dar-es-Salaam. The fifteen or so British citizens in Dar-es-Salaam, including Dahl, were made officers each commanding a platoon of askaris of the King's African Rifles. Dahl was uneasy about this and having to round up hundreds of German civilians, but managed to complete his orders.

      It was soon after this incident, in November 1939, that he joined the Royal Air Force. After a 600-mile car journey from Dar-es-Salaam to Nairobi, he was accepted for flight training with 16 other men, 14 of whom would later die in air combat. With 7 hours and 40 minutes experience in his De Havilland Tiger Moth he flew solo, and hugely enjoyed watching the wildlife of Kenya during his flights. He continued on to advanced flying training at RAF Habbaniya (50 miles west of Baghdad) in Iraq. Following six months of flying Hawker Harts he was made a Pilot Officer and assigned to No. 80 Squadron RAF, flying obsolete Gloster Gladiators. Dahl was surprised to find that he would not be trained in aerial combat, or even how to fly the Gladiator.

    • After finishing his schooling he spent three weeks hiking through Newfoundland with a group called the Public Schools' Exploring Society. In July 1934 he joined the Shell Petroleum Company. Following two years of training in the UK he was transferred to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanganyika. Along with the only two other Shell employees in the entire territory, he lived in luxury in the Shell House outside Dar-es-Salaam, with a cook and personal servants. While on the job, supplying oil to customers across Tanganyika, he encountered black mambas and lions, amongst other wildlife.

    • Though his mother expected him to attend university after leaving school, Dahl instead found a job with Shell Petroleum, which sent him to other parts of the world....

    • Throughout his childhood and adolescent years he spent his summer holidays in his parents' native Norway. His childhood is the subject of his autobiographical work, Boy: Tales of Childhood.

    • At Repton School in Derbyshire (where he was the personal servant of the prefect in whose study he had his little desk for the greater part of his early years), he was captain of the school Fives and Squash team, and also played for the football team. He developed an interest in photography. During his years there, Cadbury, a chocolate company, would occasionally send boxes of new chocolates to the school to be tested by the pupils. Dahl himself apparently used to dream of inventing a new chocolate bar that would win the praise of Mr. Cadbury himself, and this proved the inspiration for him to write his third book for children, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

    • Roald first attended Llandaff Cathedral School. At the age of eight, he and four of his friends were caned by the headmaster after putting a dead mouse in a jar of sweets at the local sweet shop owned by a "mean and loathsome" old woman called Mrs. Pratchett.

      Thereafter he was sent to several boarding schools, which was an unpleasant experience for him and his friends. He was very homesick and wrote to his mother almost every day. Only when she died did he find out she had saved every single one of his letters, in small bundles held together with green tape.

    • In 1920, when Roald was four, his seven-year-old sister, Astri, died from appendicitis, then about a month later his father died of pneumonia at the age of 57. His mother, however, rather than move back to Norway to live with her relatives, decided to stay in the UK - it had been her husband's wish to have their children educated in British schools, as he thought they were the best in the world.

    • Roald Dahl was born at Villa Marie, Fairwater Road, Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales on 13 September 1916, to Norwegian parents, Harald Dahl and Sofie Magdalene Dahl (née Hesselberg). He was named after the polar explorer Roald Amundsen, a national hero in Norway at the time.

    • As well as being Britain's number one favourite writer, Roald Dahl was Chairman of Readathon, the national sponsored read, from 1988 until his death in 1990. Brough Girling, director of Readathon, tells us about his old friend.

    • Roald Dahl: Treasure Island would be a good kids' book if you cut out about half of it.

    • Roald never liked sitting still! He didn't like the cinema, theatre, or concert halls, mainly because the seats and leg room were too small

    • One thing Roald didn't like were Holidays. The only holidays he really liked were when he went to Norway as a child.

    • Roald never liked Christmas. He preferred Easter - perhaps it was all that chocolate!

    • Roald disliked people who aren't honest.

    • Something Roald didn't like was people with colds.

    • Roald's favorite book of his own was The BFG, for Roald really enjoyed inventing the wacky way the giant speaks.

    • Roald Dahl had lots of hobbies - apart from writing! He loved food and wine, and collected French wine, as well as drinking it. He liked gardening, and he specialised in growing enormous onions.
      He was crazy about sport, in fact it was about the only thing he watched on TV. He especially loved snooker, horse racing, rugby and football.
      He also loved to listen to classical music, but at home

    • And for a paperweight, Roald used one of his own artificial hip joints!

    • Roald had about eight big operations and lots of little ones, mainly on his back. Roald had bits of bone scraped off one of his vertabrae, which Roald kept in a small bottle on his desk.

    • Roald Dahl helped to invent a special little valve that is used in surgery to drain fluid from the brain.

    • Roald Dahl and his wife Felicity, were actually brought up in neighbouring streets in Cardiff. They discovered this much later!

    • The BFG wears Roald Dahl's shoes! It's true. When Roald wrote the book he described the BFG as wearing huge wellington boots. Quentin Blake, doing the illustrations, asked if this could be changed because the boots looked boring. Roald Dahl sent him a parcel with one of his massive, Norwegian sandals in it. Look in the book, the BFG is wearing them!

    • A few months before his own death, his stepdaughter, Larina, died of a brain tumer.

    • Roald's life was marked with tradegy right until the end.

    • In 1965, Roald's first wife, Patrica "Pan" Neal, sufferded 3 strokes in rapid succsession.

    • Roald Dahl was married twice.

    • In 1960, Roald and his family settled in Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire, England at Gipsy House.

    • The Ride of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory replaced the popular ride, Adventures in Toyland.

    • Roald's book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, has been made into a new ride in 2006, in the UK's # 1 theme park, Alton Towers.

    • Roald's first "story" was A Piece of Cake, which C.S. Forester urged him to write for the Saturday Evening Post.

    • For the first 15 weeks of his writing career, Dahl concentrated on writing for adults.

    • Roald's exploits in the war are detailed in his autobiography, Going Solo.

    • At 18, rather than going to university, Roald joined the Puplic Schools Exploring Society's expedition to Newfoundland.

    • Sales of Matilda, Roald's penultimate book broke all previous records for a work of children's fiction with U.K. sales of over half a million paperbacks in 6 months.

    • In England, Roald has his own museum, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Center.

    • Roald's books Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach, Have been made into films.

    • Roald has been named The Most Successful Children's Author in the World, or The Most Scumdiddlyumptious Story Teller in the World.

    • Roald's favorite candy as a child was Sherbert Suckers.

    • As a young boy, Roald loved stories and books.

    • Even though he wrote the script, Roald wasn't a big fan of the film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

    • Roald's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been made into a movie twice. Once in 1971 and again in 2005.

    • Roald's Hair Color is Grayish.

    • Roald's Special Virtue is that he was never satisfied with what he has done.

    • Roald's favorite Special Vice was drinking.

    • Roald's favorite color is Yellow.

    • Roald's favorite food is Caviar.

    • Roald's Favorite Music was Beethoven.

    • Roald's favorite personality was My wife and children.

    • Roald's favorite sound was the Piano.

    • Roald's favorite television program was the news.

    • Roald's favorite smell is Bacon frying.

    • Roald's favorite book from childhood was Mr. Midshipman Easy.

    • If Roald were not to be an author, Roald would be a doctor.

    • Roald's adult stories are:

      Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life,

      The Best of Roald Dahl,

      Collections & Special Editions,

      Going Solo,

      Completely Unexpected Tales,

      Collected Short Stories,

      The Great Automatic Grammatizor,

      The Umbrella Man,

      Kiss Kiss,

      More Tales of the Unexpected,

      My Uncle Oswald,

      My Year

      Over to you,

      Skin and Other Stories,

      Someone Like You,

      Ten Short Stories,

      Switch Bitch,

      Tales of the Unexpected,

      The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More,

      Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories,

      and Roald Dahl's Cookbook.

    • Roald's kid books are as followed:



      Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,

      Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator,

      Danny the Champion of the World,

      Dirty Beasts,

      The Enormous Crocodile,

      Esio Trot,

      Fantastic Mr. Fox,

      The Great Automatic Grammatizor,

      George's Marvelous Medicine,

      James and the Giant Peach,

      The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me,

      The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,

      The Magic Finger,


      The Minpins,

      The Mildenhall Treasure,

      My Year,

      Quiz Books,

      The Vicar of Nibbleswicke,

      Even More Revolting Recipes,

      Revolting Rhymes,

      Rhyme Stew,

      Collections & Special Editions,

      Skin and Other Stories,

      The Witches,

      The Twits,

      The Umbrella Man,

      and Revolting Recipes.

    • Roald's most frightening moment is being in a hurricane.

    • Roald Dahl: (motto) My candle burns at both ends, It will not last the night, But ah, my foes and friends, It gives a lovely light.

    • Roald Dahl: A writer of fiction lives in fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not.

    • Roald Dahl: A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom.

    • Roald Dahl: He once said his formula of success as a children's author consisted of "conspiring with children against adults".

    • Roald used to fly Hawker Hurricanes in 80 Squadron in World War II.

    • Roald has written screenplays based on two books by Ian Fleming: You Only Live Twice (1967) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). Coincidentally, Fleming's cousin, Christopher Lee, appears in the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), based on Dahl's book. He also appears in Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), which is named after a word Dahl coined.

    • Roald replaced Richard Maibaum as screenwriter for You Only Live Twice (1967) at the last minute. Maibaum returned to the chair in 1969.

    • Roald allegedly declined to receive an O.B.E. (Officer of the order of the British Empire) in 1986.

    • Roald's daughter, Olivia Dahl, died of the measles at age 7.

    • Roald's father died of pneumonia when Roald was 3 years old.

    • Roald nearly lost his nose in a car accident.

    • Children with Patricia: Ophelia, Theo, Lucy, Tessa, and Olivia.

    • Roald wrote his novels in his garden shed.

    • Roald was 6'6" (1.98 m).

    • In one of Roald's short stories, Beware of the Dog, a fighter pilot is shot down during wartime and loses one of his legs. He recovers in a hospital only to discover that he is in Nazi-occupied France. Although the story is based on Roald's World War II experiences, it is not entirely autobiographical; Roald did crash his plane, but did not lose a leg or become a prisoner of war.

    • Roald's name pronounced is RO-uhl.

    • The Helga (Luke's grandmother) character in The Witches was based on Roald's own Norwegian grandmother, who Roald said was a tough and fearless woman.

    • Roald was credited with coining the term "Gremlin" during the second world war. These were little men who lived inside fighter plane engines, causing them to stall at the worst possible time.

    • The book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was dedicated to his son, Theo Dahl, who almost died by being run over a car.

    • Roald is the grandfather of British model, Sophie Dahl.

    • Roald's parents were Norwegian.

  • Quotes

    • Roald Dahl: A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

    • Roald Dahl: When you're writing a book, with people in it as opposed to animals, it is no good having people who are ordinary, because they are not going to interest your readers at all. Every writer in the world has to use the characters that have something interesting about them and this is even more true in children's books. I find that the only way to make my characters really interesting to children is to exaggerate all their good or bad qualities, and so if a person is nasty or bad or cruel, you make them very nasty, very bad, very cruel. If they are ugly, you make them extremely ugly. That, I think, is fun and makes an impact.

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    Roald Dahl is my favorite children's book author. He has written a lot of children's books. What I like about Roald is how he uses his imagination in writing his stories and using character names like basing a name from his family.
  • He has written some of the best book ever.

    Like i just said Roald Dahl has written some of the best books ever. One of those is charlie and the choclate factory that was a great book and had a lesson to it. The movies were great also. The B.F.G was also a great to. Matilda another great book he wrote.