The author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a real James Bond
Most believe that Roald Dahl is the author of beloved children’s books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach and Matilda. However, before he started writing, he was both a Royal Air Force fighter pilot and a British spy known for his affairs with some of the biggest celebrities of the time.
Dahl was born to Norwegian parents in Wales on September 13, 1916, and sent to boarding school at an early age. The austere atmosphere of the school and the physical punishment he suffered inspired some of his stories, including Matilda. After graduating in 1934, he traveled to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania to work for the Shell Petroleum Company. He joined the Royal Air Force at the start of the Second World War and completed his flight training at a Royal Air Force base in Iraq. He then deployed to Libya to fight Italian forces in North Africa. Shortly after, he fractured his skull in a crash landing and spent six months recovering in an Egyptian hospital. He returned to the cockpit to participate in the Battle of Athens, where he flew missions from Haifa, Israel. However, he began to experience debilitating headaches due to his accident and was deemed unfit for flight duty. Although his flying days were over, Dahl’s service in World War II was far from over.
An engaging conversationalist who was a towering six feet tall, Dahl was recruited to serve as an agent in the British intelligence service in Washington, D.C., whose mission was to enlist greater American support for the effort to British war. By day, he puts his creativity to work by producing propaganda. By night, he immersed himself in the Washington cocktail scene and soon began relationships with several notable women, including Congresswoman Clare Booth Luce, heiress Millicent Rogers, and actress Anabella. Dahl even worked his way into President Roosevelt’s inner circle, playing poker with Harry Truman and spending weekends at the President’s Hyde Park Estate. As well as making the case for Britain to these influential elites, he also reported the latest gossip he heard in London.
Dahl met several writers through his intelligence work who were instrumental in his development, including C.S. Forester and James Bond creator Ian Fleming. He even organized Earnest Hemingway’s trip to London and was the legendary author’s caretaker before D-Day. Dahl published his first children’s book, The Gremlins in 1943, drawing inspiration from mythical creatures that RAF pilots would blame for mishaps. Dahl focused on writing full time after the war. His titles include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, The Fantastic Mr. Fox and The BFG, which are among the most popular children’s books of the 20th century. Dahl also wrote the scripts for Alfred Hitchcock presentssci-fi shows and even the James Bond movie script you only live twice.
He was married twice, first to actress Patricia Neal and then to set designer Felicity d’Abreu who was with him when he died of a rare form of blood cancer in 1990. However , his books and the films they inspired have lived on for a long time. after his death and will continue to amuse new