Writer and aviator, Antoine Jean-Baptiste Marie Roger de Saint-Exupéry was born on 29 June, 1900 in Lyon, France. In 1921, he began his military service with the light cavalry, and trained as a pilot in Strasbourg. A year later he obtained his license and was offered transfer to the airforce.
On December 30, 1945, Saint-Exupéry and his navigator, André Prévot, embarked on a record-breaking attempt to fly from Paris to Saigon. Nineteen and a half hours into the flight, their plane crashed in the Sahara desert. Both survived the crash but spent three days battling dehydration, limited food and hallucinations. On the fourth day, they were rescued by a camel-riding Bedouin. In part, this experience was the inspiration for The Little Prince, which begins with a pilot being marooned in the desert. The manuscript was completed by October 1942.
On 31 July 1944, a year after his book The Little Prince was published, Saint-Exupéry disappeared over the Mediterranean while flying a reconnaissance mission for his French air squadron, the Armée de l'Air.