''The injustice of defeat lies in the fact that its most innocent victims are made to look like heartless accomplices. It is impossible to see behind defeat, the sacrifices, the austere performance of duty, the self-discipline and the vigilance that are therethose things the god of battle does not take account of.''All quotations
Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint Exupéry was an aristocrat French writer, poet and pioneering aviator. He became a laureate of several of France's highest literary awards and also won the U.S. National Book Award. He is best remembered for his novella The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) and for his lyrical aviation writings, including Night Flight and Wind, Sand and Stars.
He was a successful commercial pilot before World War II, working airmail routes in Europe, Africa and South America. At the outbreak of war he joined the Armée de l'Air (French Air Force), flying reconnaissance missions until France's armistice with Germany in 1940. After being demobilized from the French Air Force he voyaged to the United States to convince its government to quickly enter the war against Nazi Germany. Following a 27-month hiatus in North America during which he wrote three of his most important works, he joined the Free French Air Force in North Africa although he was far past the maximum age for such pilots and in declining health. He disappeared over the Mediterranean on his last assigned reconnaissance mission in July 1944, and is believed to have died at that time.
Prior to the war he had achieved fame in France as an aviator. His literary works, among them The Little Prince, translated into over 250 languages and dialects, propelled his stature posthumously allowing him to achieve national hero status in France. He earned further widespread recognition with international translations of his other works. His 1939 philosophical memoir Terre des hommes became the name of a major international humanitarian group, and was also used to create the central theme (Terre des hommes–Man and His World) of the most successful world's fair of the 20th century, Expo 67 in Montreal, Canada.
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