Roald Dahl

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Roald Dahl : biography

13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990

Post-war life

Dahl married American actress Patricia Neal on 2 July 1953 at Trinity Church in New York City. Their marriage lasted for 30 years and they had five children: Olivia, Tessa, Theo, Ophelia and Lucy. The Telegraph (6 August 2010)

On 5 December 1960, four-month-old Theo Dahl was severely injured when his baby carriage was struck by a taxicab in New York City. For a time, he suffered from hydrocephalus and, as a result, his father became involved in the development of what became known as the "Wade-Dahl-Till" (or WDT) valve, a device to alleviate the condition.

In November 1962, Olivia Dahl died of measles encephalitis at age seven. Dahl subsequently became a proponent of immunisation and dedicated his 1982 book The BFG to his daughter.Singh, Anita (7 August 2010) The Telegraph’.’ Retrieved 4 January 2011.

In 1965, wife Patricia Neal suffered three burst cerebral aneurysms while pregnant with their fifth child, Lucy; Dahl took control of her rehabilitation and she eventually re-learned to talk and walk, and even returned to her acting career, an episode in their lives which was dramatised in the film The Patricia Neal Story, in which the couple were played by Glenda Jackson and Dirk Bogarde.. The Guardian. Retrieved 28 May 2012

Dahl married Felicity "Liccy" Crosland at Brixton Town Hall, South London, following a divorce from Neal in 1983. Dahl and Crosland had previously been in a relationship. According to biographer Donald Sturrock, Liccy gave up her job and moved into ‘Gipsy House’, Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire, which had been Dahl’s home since 1954.Lynn F. Pearson Osprey Publishing, 2008

In 1983 Dahl reviewed Tony Clifton’s God Cried, a picture book about the 1982 Lebanon War that depicted Israelis killing thousands of Beirut inhabitants by bombing civilian targets.Clifton, Tony (1983). "God Cried". Quartet Books, 1983 Dahl’s review stated that the book would make readers "violently anti-Israeli", writing, "I am not anti-Semitic. I am anti-Israel." Dahl told a reporter in 1983, "There’s a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity … I mean there is always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason."Roald Dahl: A biography, Jeremy Treglown (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1994), pp. 255–256. Dahl maintained friendships with a number of Jews, including philosopher Isaiah Berlin, who said, "I thought he might say anything. Could have been pro-Arab or pro-Jew. There was no consistent line. He was a man who followed whims, which meant he would blow up in one direction, so to speak."

In the 1986 New Years Honours List, Dahl was offered the Order of the British Empire (OBE), but turned it down, purportedly because he wanted a knighthood so that his wife would be Lady Dahl.. The Australian. Retrieved 1 June 2012, Walesonline (also published in the Western Mail), 27 January 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2012. Dahl is the father of author Tessa Dahl and grandfather of author, cookbook writer and former model Sophie Dahl (after whom Sophie in The BFG is named).Martin Chilton (18 November 2010) The Daily Telegraph