Roald Dahl biography

Roald Dahl

Novelist, Author

1916 – 1990


Who was Roald Dahl?

Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, fighter pilot and screenwriter.

Born in Wales, to Norwegian parents, he served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence officer, rising to the rank of wing commander. Dahl rose to prominence in the 1940s, with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world's best-selling authors. He has been referred to as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century". In 2008 The Times placed Dahl 16th on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". His short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children's books for their unsentimental, often very dark humour.

His works include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Twits, George's Marvellous Medicine and The BFG.

Famous Quotes:

  • 'I am totally convinced that most grown-ups have completely forgotten what is it like to be a child between the ages of five and then... I can remember exactly what it was like. I am certain I can.'
  • 'The reason I collect good ideas is because plots themselves are very difficult indeed to come by.'
  • 'When I first thought about writing the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I never originally meant to have children in it at all!'
  • 'If I had my way, I would remove January from the calender altogether and have an extra July instead.'


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Sep 13, 1916
Also known as
  • Roald Dal
  • Dahl, Roald
  • Ronald Dahl
  • United Kingdom
  • Wales
  • The Cathedral School, Llandaff
  • St Peter's, Weston-super-Mare
  • Repton School
Lived in
  • Llandaff
    (1916 - )
  • Dar es Salaam
    (1936 - )
Nov 23, 1990
Resting place
Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery

on July 23, 2013