Born in Wales toNorwegian parents, he served in the British Royal Air Force during the Second World War, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence officer,rising to the rank of Wing Commander. Dahl rose to prominence in the 1940s with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world'sbest-selling authors. He has been referred to as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century".In 2008 The Times placed Dahl 16th on itslist of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".His short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children's books for theirunsentimental, often very dark humour.
Some of his notable works include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, George's MarvellousMedicine, Fantastic Mr Fox, Matilda, The Witches and The BFG.
Roald Dahl died on 23 November 1990, at the age of 74 of a blood disease, myelodysplasticsyndrome, in Oxford, and was buried in the cemetery at St Peter and St Paul's Church in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England. According to hisgranddaughter, the family gave him a "sort of Viking funeral". He was buried with his snooker cues, some very good burgundy, chocolates, HB pencils and apower saw. In his honour, the Roald Dahl Children's Gallery was opened in November 1996, at the Buckinghamshire County Museum in nearby Aylesbury