Roald Dahl is a well known writer, who was known for his series of short stories collection but as not many are aware before becoming a writer Dahl had tried his hand at several other professions like a pilot in Britain’s Royal Air Force, oilman for Shell and also a member of British diplomatic corps.
It was much later that Dahl decided to become a writer and by then he was already in his mid-40s. His first story as a children’s author ‘James and the Giant Peach’ was arguably one of the best, it was published in 1961, which was later adapted into a movie by 1996. Interestingly Dahl would tell the same story about the giant peach to his kids every night and the story kept getting longer and longer, until one day, when he decided that the story was really good to be written and published.
During the World War II Dahl had moved to America, which was also an interesting phase of his life. He was doing well in US as well; here he was writing short stories of fiction and stories about Royal Air Force (RAF). Dahl was invited for dinner by the then First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to the White House, who was impressed by Dahl’s short fictional stories about RAF. Walt Disney also invited Dahl to Hollywood to discuss making a movie based on his shot stories.
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Eventually Dahl’s trip to US also helped him to get married to one of the finest actress Patricia Neal, who also won an Oscar later for her performance in ‘Hud’. Neal was suffering from aneurysm, after a few strokes she could not use one side of her body and could barely talk as well. After a lot of effort Dahl helped Neal to recover, though the process was very painful, Neal was able to return to acting and was ever so grateful to Dahl for his efforts of taking care of her.
Neal’s sickness and acting career meant Dahl had to take up a lot of domestic responsibilities and also had to take care of his children too, which in a way would help Dahl to concentrate on his writing as full time work would have consumed a lot of his time. Dahl would need a private place to concentrate on his writing and so he had a small working hut in his house, where he would sit and write. He had mentioned in his interviews that the hut had really helped him to think like a child and cut off from the world.
Roald Dahl was born on 13th September 1916 and passed away on 23rd November 1990, today marks 100 years since the birth of one of the world’s finest story tellers – Roald Dahl.