“True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Antoine de Saint-Exupery was born in Lyons, France on this day in 1900. He would have been 112.
Saint-Exupery was an aviator, adventurer and writer. He made his first solo flight in July of 1921. By 1926 he had secured a job flying mail for Aeropstale over North Africa. His first novel, Southern Mail, was written shortly after. His move to South America and work as director of Aeroposta Argentina became the basis of his second novel, Night Flight. The book was an international best seller and was made into a movie starring Clark Gable in 1933. While recovering from two serious aviation accidents he wrote Wind, Sand and Stars.
At the outbreak of WWII he joined the French Air Force and flew reconnaissance missions. When France fell to Germany, he travelled to the United States and tried to build support for the US entering the War. While here he published Flight to Arras. After two years in the States he joined the Free French Air Force in North Africa, again flying reconnaissance missions. On July 31, 1944 he took off from an airbase on Corsica and never returned.
The Little Prince was written while he was in the US, and was published in 1943. It was Saint-Exupery’s best selling book. It has been translated into 250 languages and has sold 200 million copies.