What was Roald Dahl’s net worth?
Roald Dahl was a British writer, poet, screenwriter and fighter pilot who had a net worth of $ 20 million at the time of his death. To date, Roald Dahl’s books have sold over 250 million copies worldwide. Known for writing darkly comical, unsentimental children’s books, his titles include “James and the Giant Peach”, “The BFG”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda”. Dahl is often considered one of the greatest British writers of the 20th century, although he has also been criticized for anti-Semitism and misogyny.
Early life and education
Roald Dahl was born on September 13, 1916 in Cardiff, Wales, to wealthy Norwegian immigrants Harald and Sofie. He had four sisters named Astri, Alfhild, Else and Asta. Astri died of appendicitis at the age of seven, while Dahl’s father died of pneumonia a few weeks later. Since his mother tongue was Norwegian, Dahl went to the Church of Norway, the country’s Lutheran state church. He attended Cathedral School in Llandaff, Wales and then transferred to St. Peter’s Boarding School in Weston, Somerset, England. At the age of 13, Dahl began attending Repton School in Derbyshire. There he was tormented by an environment of ritual cruelty among the students and corporal punishment by the headmaster. During his school years he played golf, cricket and soccer and developed an interest in literature and photography.
After finishing school, Dahl crossed the Atlantic and wandered Newfoundland, Canada with the Public Schools Exploring Society. He then joined the Shell Petroleum Company, which placed him in Kenya and Tanganyika, where he lived in luxury in the company’s Shell House.
Second World War
During his stay in Africa in 1939, Dahl was assigned to the King’s African Rifles as a lieutenant, commanding a platoon of indigenous troops serving in the colonial army. Subsequently, Dahl joined the Royal Air Force, first becoming a fighter pilot and then an intelligence officer before rising to the rank of wing commander. Due to injuries he sustained in an air accident in 1940, Dahl was finally declared unfit for further service and released from the Royal Air Force in 1946.
Start of writing career
In 1942, Dahl published his first written work, which focused on his war adventures and was inspired by a meeting with the English writer CS Forester. It was bought by the Saturday Evening Post for $ 1,000 and was published under the title “Shot Down Over Libya”. The next year Dahl published his first children’s book, The Gremlins, about tiny creatures serving in the Royal Air Force. The author also wrote short stories for adults that were included in early collections such as “Someone Like You” and “Kiss Kiss”.
Starting with “James and the Giant Peach” in 1961, Dahl became known as an outstanding author of children’s books. He wrote such popular children’s classics as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Fantastic Mr. Fox”, “The Twits”, “The BFG”, “The Witches” and “Matilda”. He became one of the best-selling authors in the world and won numerous literary prizes. In addition, many of his works have been adapted into feature films.
Dahl’s children’s books are often told from the perspective of their child protagonists. These typically include adult villains who despise and abuse children, a trope that goes back to the author’s experiences in boarding school. His books also contain fantasy, darkly droll humor, grotesque or magical characters, and a subliminal mood, although they are never sentimental. Dahl also dealt with class issues, such as in “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “Danny, the Champion of the World”. In 1983 he received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement for his contributions to literature.
Writing a script
Dahl wrote scripts for a while in the 1960s. He wrote the scripts for the James Bond film “You Only Live Twice” and the musical fantasy film “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, both based on novels by Ian Fleming. Dahl also began adapting his own novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”; However, after the deadline was not met, it was completed by David Seltzer and converted into “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”. Dahl hated the results and turned down the film. As a result, he declined to produce any further adaptations of the book during his lifetime.
Dahl’s other screenplay credits include the BBC children’s television series “Jackanory” and the 1971 thriller “The Night Digger”. From 1979 to 1988 he wrote 26 episodes of the British anthology series “Tales of the Unexpected”.
Over the course of his career, Dahl received a lot of criticism for written and spoken words that were racist, misogynistic, or anti-Semitic. He brought the latter indictment in 1983 for a review of the picture book “God Cried”, in which he alleged that Jewish people had gone from “victims to barbaric murderers” after the Holocaust. He went on to denounce the “Jewish financial institutions” that “rule” the United States, claiming that Jewish people have a quality that provokes antagonism. Dahl also drew allegations of misogyny because of his portrayals of female characters, whom he often wrote as evil, ugly, and bossy.
In 1953 Dahl married the actress Patricia Neal. They were married for 30 years and had five children: Olivia, Chantal, Theo, Ophelia and Lucy. When he was only a few months old, Theo was hit by a taxi in his stroller and suffered briefly from hydrocephalus. Dahl then took part in the development of the WDT valve, which is designed to improve the cerebral shunt used to treat the disease. A few years later, Dahl’s daughter Olivia died of measles at the age of seven. Later, in 1965, his wife suffered three brain aneurysms; she finally recovered.
In 1972, Dahl began an 11-year-old affair with film producer Felicity d’Abreu Crosland, whom he married in 1983 after divorcing Neal. Later, in November 1990, Dahl died of a rare blood cancer at the age of 74. His charitable contributions to hematology, neurology and literacy continue through Roald Dahl’s Marvelous Children’s Charity, which cares for sick youth across the UK.
After his death in 1990, Roald’s widow Felicity inherited most of his estate after taxes and other bequests. Felicity and her three children oversee the Roald Dahl Story Company, which has generated billions in royalties and other revenues over the years.
In November 2018, Netflix reportedly paid $ 1 billion to acquire the animation rights to 16 of Dahls’ books.
In September 2021, Netflix completed the set by directly acquiring the Roald Dahl Story Company for $ 500 million.