The Roald Dahl Legacy
No Roald Dahl biography would be complete without mentioning his legacy beyond his stories. Because his son, Neal, was brain damaged after an accident, he helped to create a valve that drained the excess fluid, known as the Dahl-Walde-Till valve. It has since been replaced by better technology, but was used for several years.
His oldest daughter, Olivia, developed a bout of measles that turned into encephalitis, or an inflammation of the brain. As a result, she passed away at the age of seven. His first wife, actress Patricia Neal, suffered three strokes when pregnant with their daughter Lucy. Dahl kept her occupied, motivated, and helped her along to a full recovery. A few months before Roald Dahl died, his stepdaughter, Lorina, passed away of a brain tumor. Roald Dahl passed away on November 23, 1990.
All of these neurological tragedies, in conjunction with a strong desire to inspire literacy, and his own battle with a blood disorder, resulted in the posthumous creation of the Roald Dahl Foundation. The foundation echoes Dahl's philanthropic efforts by providing grants in the areas of literacy, neurology, and hematology.