Born in Wales to Norwegian parents, Dahl served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence officer, rising to the rank of Acting wing commander. He rose to prominence in the 1940s with works for both children and adults and became one of the world's best-selling authors. He has been referred to as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century". Among his awards for contribution to literature, he received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1983, and Children's Author of the Year from the British Book Awards in 1990. In 2008 The Times placed Dahl 16th on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".