Roald Dahl's Unceremonious Last Words

You'll remember him from the classic childhood adventures he told in books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, and others. But you might be surprised by the last words to come out of Roald Dahl's mouth before he died.

The beloved children's author died on November 23, 1990 from a rare type of blood cancer. He was surrounded by his family, whom he reassured that he wasn't scared to die. According to New York Magazine, he bid them what would have been a sweet goodbye — "It's just that I will miss you all so much" — had it been the last thing Dahl said before he died. 

But it turned out that Dahl's life would end as many of his stories did: with a twist. After that pleasant farewell, the nurse pricked his arm with a syringe, and the man who — according to History Extra – invented over 500 words during his writing career ended his life with the crude, unimaginative phrase: "Ow, f***!"

Dahl was not the world's friendliest giant

If Dahl's endearing characters hold a special place in your heart, you might be a little disappointed to find that he was one of a number of respected writers who were actually terrible people. That New York Magazine article mentions how he was kind of a jerk as a kid (he once wrapped his sister up in a bunch of pillows and shot her with BBs). He was known to quarrel at dinner parties just for the fun of it, and had a reputation for being a bully to editors and others in the publishing industry.

According to the BBC, his first wife, actress Patricia Neal, nicknamed Dahl "Roald the Rotten," after she got to know his unpleasant temper. But the BFG author went even further than simply being a grade-A SOB. He was noted for having anti-Semitic views, which he didn't feel the need to hide: "There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity. I mean, there's always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn't just pick on them for no reason."

Maybe he wasn't the best role model for your children. The New Statesman has even argued that we shouldn't separate his art from his personal views. So when you think about it, maybe a crude F-bomb was the best choice of last words for legendary children's author Roald Dahl.