28 Facts About Roald Dahl

1. Roald Dahl died on 23 November 1990, at the age of 74 of a rare cancer of the blood, myelodysplastic syndrome, in Oxford, and was buried in the cemetery at St Peter and St Paul's Church in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England.

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2. In 1961, Roald Dahl hosted and wrote for a science fiction and horror television anthology series called Way Out, which preceded the Twilight Zone series on the CBS network for 14 episodes from March to July.

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3. Roald Dahl was a huge fan of ghost stories and claimed that Trolls by Jonas Lie was one of the finest ghost stories ever written.

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4. Roald Dahl travelled to visit Thomas's hut in Carmarthenshire, Wales in the 1950s and, after taking a look inside, decided to make a replica of it to write in.

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5. Roald Dahl features in his books characters who are very fat, usually children.

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6. Roald Dahl incorporated a Gypsy wagon into the main plot of the book, where the young English boy, Danny, and his father, William live in a vardo.

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7. Roald Dahl acquired a traditional Romanichal vardo in the 1960s, and the family used it as a playhouse for his children at home in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.

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8. While at the British Embassy in Washington, Roald Dahl sent a copy to the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt who read it to her grandchildren, and the book was commissioned by Walt Disney for a film that was never made.

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9. In the 1986 New Years Honours List, Roald Dahl was offered an appointment to Officer of the Order of the British Empire, but turned it down.

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10. Roald Dahl wanted to provoke, as he always provoked at dinner.

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11. Roald Dahl had Jewish friends, including philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin, who commented: "I thought he might say anything.

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12. In 1983 Roald Dahl reviewed Tony Clifton's God Cried, a picture book about the siege of West Beirut by the Israeli army during the 1982 Lebanon War.

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13. On 5 December 1960, four-month-old Theo Roald Dahl was severely injured when his baby carriage was struck by a taxicab in New York City.

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14. Toward the end of the war, Roald Dahl wrote some of the history of the secret organisation; he and Stephenson remained friends for decades after the war.

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15. Roald Dahl was once sent back to Britain by British Embassy officials, supposedly for misconduct—"I got booted out by the big boys", he said.

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16. Roald Dahl was promoted to flight lieutenant in August 1942.

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17. Roald Dahl was unimpressed by his office in the British Air Mission, attached to the embassy.

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18. In February 1941, Roald Dahl was discharged from hospital and passed fully fit for flying duties.

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19. Roald Dahl was rescued and taken to a first-aid post in Mersa Matruh, where he regained consciousness, but not his sight.

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20. Roald Dahl was surprised to find that he would not receive any specialised training in aerial combat, or in flying Gladiators.

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21. In November 1939, Roald Dahl joined the Royal Air Force as an aircraftman with service number 774022.

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22. Roald Dahl was commissioned as a lieutenant into the King's African Rifles, commanding a platoon of Askari men, indigenous troops who were serving in the colonial army.

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23. Roald Dahl would dream of inventing a new chocolate bar that would win the praise of Mr Cadbury himself; this inspired him in writing his third children's book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and to refer to chocolate in other children's books.

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24. Roald Dahl wrote about his time at St Peter's in his autobiography Boy: Tales of Childhood.

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25. Roald Dahl transferred to a boarding school in England: St Peter's in Weston-super-Mare.

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26. In 1920, when Roald Dahl was three years old, his seven-year-old sister, Astri, died from appendicitis.

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27. Born in Wales to Norwegian immigrant parents, Roald Dahl served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

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

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