1. Roald Dahl was a famous British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter and also served as a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He has been referred to as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century," writing almost 50 books in his career, along with many more screenplays, poems and short stories.
2. Dahl's first book for children was The Gremlins in 1943. The story was written for Walt Disney Productions and was considered an international success.
3. Dahl was also famous for his inventive, playful use of language, which was a key element to his writing. He invented new words by scribbling down his words before swapping letters around. Roald Dahl may have invented over 250 new words. Many of these words appear in the best-selling children's book The BFG (short for "Big Friendly Giant"), which was written by Roald and illustrated by Quentin Blake.
4. Dahl wrote many of his stories such as Matilda in Scots and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in a little shed at the bottom of his garden.
5. Roald Dahl loved chocolate. When at school in Repton, Derbyshire, he enjoyed chocolate that was sent from Cadbury to the school students for testing. He dreamed of inventing a new chocolate bar to win praise from Mr. Cadbury and this inspired him to write his third children's book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in 1964.
6. Dahl always quoted that his mother and her stories had a strong influence on his writing. In one interview, he mentioned: "She was a great teller of tales. Her memory was prodigious and nothing that ever happened to her in her life was forgotten." When Dahl started writing and publishing his famous books for children, he included a grandmother character in The Witches, and later said that she was based directly on his own mother as a tribute.
7. Roald Dahl died on 23rd November 1990, aged 74. He was buried in the parish church of St Peter and St Paul in Great Missenden - the Buckinghamshire village.