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Author Spotlight: Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl, born in 1916, faced many hardships in his early life. His father died when Dahl was only 3 years old, and his sister Astri followed closely after. Soon after, he attended several different boarding schools in the Wales area, marked with harsh discipline and mischief, which greatly informed much of his later writing.

Dahl’s writing career took off after the war ended, his first children’s book The Gremlins was published in 1943 and was wildly successful for the time. However, his career hit an all-time peak in the early 1960s with the publication of many well-known children's books such as James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, and Matilda.

While Dahl alternated between quite a few genres during his career, his most successful was always considered to be his children's books which are known for their whimsical and almost magical nature. Many of Dahl’s works became staples of childhood even long after he passed away. He also assisted in writing quite a few film adaptations of his own stories most notably Gene Wilder’s Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda. Both films that have become staples of childhood since their release.

Unfortunately, Roald Dahl passed away in November of 1990 at the age of 74 from a rare blood disease. Though even after death Dahl remains one of the most successful authors of the 20th century. His works have sold over 250 Million copies since they were first published and, film adaptations have grossed more than $750 million at box offices across the world. These successes are why September 13th is celebrated as Roald Dahl Day.

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