Antoine de Saint-Exupery
For Saint-Exupery (1900-1944) flying wasn't just piloting an airplane and The Little Prince wasn't just a little boy, lonely on his planet B-612.
Born in Lyon, a lover of danger, excitement and adventure he had a great wish to join the naval service but unfortunately he failed the exam that he had to take to join it. Disappointed he thought of alternatives, then found it in avaition. During his military service he learned to fly planes. In those days aviation was still in its developmental stage and was highly dangerous, reasons for its appeal to Saint-Exupery.
After his military service, he presented himself to the director of an airline company and expressed to him his desire to become a pilot. but he was first required to be a mechanic. Saint-Exupery worked to become a mechanic. In 1927, he finally reached his goal. He was the pilot of a formation. He completed dangerous missions over the Mediterranean, over the Sahara. He had many accidents over the middle of the desert. Later, he was named the director of his own aviation company in South America. There also, he accomplished many dangerous missions over the Andes.
It was also meditating, reflecting. During his missions, Saint-Exupery thought deeply about solitude, friendship, the meaning of life, the human condition, and liberty. He published his reflections. His books had immediate success. Unfortunately, the aviation company for which Saint-Exupery worked was having serious financial problems. Saint-Exupery had to quit the company. He became a journalist. He went to Spain, Russia, and Germany. He flew when he could.
In 1939 when France went to war with Germany Saint-Exupery enlisted in the army, but after France was occupied by Hitler's troops, he left for the United States and continued to write. He published his most celebrated book The Little Prince in New York. In 1942, American troops landed in North Africa. Saint-Exupery decided to join the American army. At age 42, he volunteered to be a pilot. but he was told he was too old, but still he persisted and was accepted and given an airplane. He accomplished many missions over occupied France.
On the 31st of July, 1944, Saint-Exupery left for his last mission. His airplane was destroyed by German airplanes over the Mediterranean.
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