Antoine de Saint Exupéry

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Antoine de Saint-Exupéry[1] (French pronunciation: [ɑ̃twan də sɛ̃tɛɡzypeˈʁi]) (29 June 1900 – 31 July 1944) was a French writer and aviator. He is best remembered for his novella The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) and for his books about aviation adventures, including Night Flight and Wind, Sand and Stars.

He was a successful commercial pilot before World War II. He joined the Armée de l'Air (French Air Force) on the outbreak of war, flying reconnaissance missions until the armistice with Germany. Following a spell of writing in the United States, he joined the Free French Forces. He disappeared on a reconnaissance flight over the Mediterranean in July 1944.


Early years

Antoine Jean-Baptiste Marie Roger de Saint Exupéry[2] was born in Lyon to an old family of provincial nobility, the third of five children of Marie de Fonscolombe and Viscount Jean de Saint Exupéry, an insurance broker who died before his son's fourth birthday.

After failing his final exams at preparatory school, Saint-Exupéry entered the École des Beaux-Arts to study architecture. In 1921, he began his military service with the 2e Régiment de chasseurs à cheval (English: 2nd Regiment of Light Cavalry). He was then sent to Strasbourg for training as a pilot. The following year, he obtained his license and was offered transfer to the air force. Bowing to the objections of the family of his fiancée—the future novelist Louise Leveque de Vilmorin—he instead settled in Paris and took an office job. The couple ultimately broke off the engagement, however, and he worked at several jobs over the next few years without success.

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