46 Roald Dahl Facts

Here are some facts about Roald Dahl, the famous British children’s author.

Roald Dahl – Writing and Book Facts

  • Roald Dahl wrote may of his books in a shed in his garden, sitting upon an old battered armchair. He balanced a specially designed writing board on his lap and wrote with an HB pencil on yellow legal pads.

  • He wrote everyday from 10 am to 12 noon and then from 4 pm to 6pm.
  • Dahl’s first book for children was The Gremlins, published in 1943.
  • Roald Dahl was writing a third Charlie Bucket (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) story, Charlie Bucket and the White House, but he died before the book could be completed.
  • It has been said that Roald Dahl created more than 250 new words. Many of them appear in The BFG.
  • He used to record all of his story ideas in an old red exercise book.
  • He was friends with the American writer, Ernest Hemingway.
  • Roald Dahl wrote seventeen children’s stories, and he also produced many works for adults, as well as children’s poetry and film scripts. Click here to find out more about Roald Dahl’s books.
  • The first draft of the Magic Finger was titled The Almost Ducks, and James and the Giant Peach was going to be called James and the Giant Cherry.
  • Dahl often based his characters on people he had met in real life. For example, it is said that the grandmother in The Witches is inspired by his own mother, Sofie.
  • He wrote the screenplays for You Only Live Twice (the James Bond film) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
  • Some of his favourite authors were: Rudyard Kipling, Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackery.

Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl’s Early Life

  1. Roald Dahl was born on 13th September 1916 in Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales.
  2. His parents were Norwegian.
  3. Roald Dahl was named after the famous Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen.
  4. When he was a child, Roald spoke Norwegian when he was at home with his parents and three sisters, Astri, Alfhild and Else.
  5. When Roald was only three, his father, Harald, died of pneumonia, and his sister Astri, died from appendicitis (she was 7).
  6. Roald went to The Cathedral School in Cardiff, Saint Peter’s (a boarding school) in Weston-super-Mare, and Repton School in Derbyshire.
  7. His teachers didn’t think he was very good at writing when he was at school, but Roald Dahl excelled at sport. He was a very good footballer and he enjoyed playing squash.
  8. He often carried a camera with him and he loved taking photographs.
  9. When he left school, Roald Dahl went on a hiking trip through Newfoundland, Canada.
  10. In 1934 he was employed by Shell Petroleum Company, working in Kenya and Tanzania.
  11. In 1939, Roald Dahl became a lieutenant in the King’s African Rifles (an East African regiment of the British Army). Later that year, he joined the Royal Air Force as a fighter pilot.
  12. He was badly injured in 1940 when he crash landed his Gloster Gladiator biplane in an Egyptian desert. He fractured his skull, broke his nose and passed out.
  13. In 1941, Roald Dahl experienced his first aerial combat situation during World War 2. He shot down a German plane in his Hawker Hurricane.
  14. He took part in the Battle of Athens during World War 2 on 20th April 1941.
  15. In late 1941, Dahl started to get headaches so severe that they made him lose consciousness. He was sent back to Britain.
  16. In 1942, he worked in Washington DC as an Assistant Air Attache (a diplomat).
  17. During the war he was recruited by the spymaster, William Stephenson. He provided MI6 with intelligence from Washington, working alongside Ian Fleming (the creator of James Bond) and several others.
  18. Dahl left the Royal Air Force in 1946.


Roald Dahl – After the Royal Air Force

  1. On 2nd July 1953, Roald Dahl married Patricai Neal, an American actress.
  2. They had five children, Olivia, Chantal, Theo, Ophelia and Lucy.
  3. Olivia died when she seven – she had measles encephalitis.
  4. Theo was hit by a taxicab in New York City and suffered severe injuries.  He developed hydrocephalus (‘water on the brain’).
  5. Patricia Neal, Roald Dahl’s wife, experienced three cerebral aneurysms. As a result, she lost the ability to talk and walk. Roald Dahl took control of her rehabilitation and Patricia was eventually able to talk and walk again.
  6. Roald Dahl and Patricia Neal got a divorce and in 1983, Roald Dahl married Felicity Crosland.
  7. Roald Dahl died on 23rd November 1990. He was 74 and was suffereing with myeldysplastic syndrome (a type of blood disease).
  8. He is buried in the cemetery of St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire. He was buried with some of his favourite things, including: a power saw, HB pencils, chocolate, red wine and his snooker cues.


Other Facts About Roald Dahl

  1. Roald Dahl’s granddaughter is Sophie Dahl, the author and former model). The Sophie character in Dahl’s The BFG is named after her.
  2. The Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery was opened at the Buckinghamshire County Museum in 1996.
  3. Roald Dahl’s birthday, 13th Spetember, is celebrated every year in libraries and schools as Roald Dahl Day.
  4. Roald Dahl was about 6’6″ tall (200 cm).
  5. In 1971, a real Willy Wonka wrote to Roald Dahl. He was a postman.
  6. Roald Dahl could speak English, Norwegian and Swahili.
  7. Dahl really enjoyed eating milk chocolate.
  8. He enjoyed growing orchids, collecting art, drinking wine, playing snooker and racing greyhounds.

150 thoughts to “46 Roald Dahl Facts”

  1. I found these so useful I did a presentation on him so thank you for everyone who did all this research on Roald Dahl, I found it so easy to understand. very good,thanks for taking your time to read this.

  2. I’m using this for my home work really good

  3. I found some of these facts very useful. They helped a lot with my homework assignment.

  4. This is great for facts and quizzes about Roald Dahl.

  5. So helpful! Doing a school project on him and these facts are super!!!!! Thx

  6. This is enough to complete any homework about Roald Dahl

  7. I already Know some of the facts but its helpful. im doing a school project on him

  8. Is there anyone who isn’t using it for schoolwork? It is great! I love all of the little-known gems of info, it is really helpful and my English teacher will be over the moon.

  9. I am using this for a review about my favourite author for literacy homework this is really helpful thank you primaryfacts.com

  10. Wow have to do an oral presentation and this was absolutely perfect! Thanks!!

      1. I dont mean to be rude but there is no space in after the royal force no. 5
        Th ewords are “controlof”

  11. I’m using this fora school project.
    It is really handy with lot’s of interesting fact’s !

    Junna ( From Murray’s Bay School )

  12. Yes I am using this website for my homework, and it has been very helpful to me. I love Roald Dahl and how he wrote so many amazing and wonderful stories.

    Thanks again, Alla

  13. I like roald dahl books bescuse he like is one of my my best aurthur in the world and franscesa simon who made horrid henry up

  14. thanks doing charlie and choclate factory need facts about roald dahl THANKS THANKS

  15. This is a great page to learn about Roald Dahl also useful for year 6 literacy

  16. thank for your help really helped me with my homework :):):)

  17. Who’s using this for a project or homework?

    I am, I’m just wondering.

    Did you know?: Roald Dahl was in a car accident and almost got his nose cut off!!!

  18. This is really helping me with my facts for my poster in school. Also this web ROCKS

  19. i am using it to do my Question of the week for school

  20. I am learning about Roald Dahl and I can fly through my homework with this website

  21. As a teenager I loved the Tales of the Unexpected on TV. I saw ‘Esio Trot’ the other day and I think RD would have been so proud of both Dame Judi and Dustin Hoffman playing in the roles of his characters. No other actors can ever be those characters for me now! Just sad, funny and amazing -and I’m hoping beyond hope that folk out there will get just a little of the pleasure from my own writing as generations have from RD’s.
    Thank you RD for all the inspiration. I have read your books to countless children (and just wish you were still alive to read this since this is a long overdue expression of gratitude).

  22. This is really good especially for projects for school also i am a really big fan off his books

  23. Roald Dahl has inspired me fot the 10 years i have lived. I cannot stop reading his books. I haven’t even read them all yet! I love the language he produces in all his books. Even though it’s mainly gobblefunk ( the BFG’s language ) it is still an inspiration to keep going on and writing stories in the Writing Group I am in. I never lived long enough to see him at all but his life was interestinmg. I reccomend Boy and Going Solo for anyone who wants further info on his life, written by himself. He had an interesting life.

    Thank you Roald Dahl for your life and inspiration.

  24. thanks for these facts they were awesome i love learning about Roald Dahl

      1. that he’s amazing and creative when it comes to books!!!!!

  25. thank u sooo much i got bonus points for the interesting facts and love his book witches

  26. I am using this website for my homework
    and I love matilda and James and the giant peach I love all of them.

  27. this is so so helpful my school do home leaning in y 6 so this is realy helpfull

  28. Hi this is really good for homework and plus I used some extra info and done extra homework

  29. Hi this is really good for homework and plus I used some extra info and done extra homework
    🙂 🙂 🙂

  30. awesome website helped loads with homework
    😀 😀 😀

    1. Keira soz last time posted comment i did make spelling mistakes says:

      RIP Roald Dahl

    1. Yes……Hi !! This is really good for school. We are learing about him and chocolate and it is really useful. I am using it for extra homework!!

      Evie x

          1. Actually, I am also using this for a school project.

          2. I’m also using it for a school project

        1. i am using it for a school final project.
          Thanks its so good

          1. iam using it for a school work

          1. I’m using ita a school project.

    2. This is a really good website for homework, projects, and presentations.

    3. I’m using it for my book report. It’s really helpful!

    4. Great info for everything I am doing a report on Roald Dahl
      so it was helpful.

    5. I am going to high school in September and I have to do homework over the summer I have been on this website all week it is amazing,thanks

    6. Same we are learning about our local famous author and it was Roald Dahl and he lived 20 mins away from me so that was really cool. And I am using these facts to add extra information to my homework xxxx LOL

    7. I am using this for homework too but I has to do 2 pages! this is going to take forever

    8. I am making a mini biography on him an this was super helpful/useful

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.