Authors & Illustrators Born in the Month of June Antoine de Saint-Exupéry • June 29th

French flier and author of "The Little Prince"
Watercolor for "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Watercolor for "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944) was a French writer, aviator, poet and author. Raised in an aristocratic family, he fell in love with aviation at an early age after took his first airplane ride at the age of 12. He received his pilot’s wings during his compulsory military service in 1922, around which time he also began to write.

In 1935 Saint-Exupéry attempted to break the air-speed record between Paris and Saigon. En route, his plane crashed in the Sahara, and he and his copilot wandered the desert for days, nearly dying of exposure and dehydration before being rescued by a wandering Bedouin. Saint-Exupéry’s 1939 memoir “Wind, Sand and Stars,” which includes an account of the events, surpassed the success of his earlier works, winning the prestigious Grand Prize for Novel Writing from the Académie Française and the National Book Award in the United States.

His adventures as a pilot would supply the inspiration for all of his literary endeavors, which culminated with the 1943 publication of the classic The Little Prince.

The poetic and mystical tale of a pilot stranded in the desert and his conversation with a young prince from another planet, was written and illustrated by Saint-Exupéry and published in both French and English in the United States in 1943, and later in more than 200 other languages. It is considered one of the greatest books in the 20th century and is one of the bestselling books of all time, becoming the subject of numerous adaptations, including a Grammy Winning children’s album featuring Richard Burton and a 1974 musical film featuring Gene Wilder and Bob Fosse.

from the movie "The Little Prince"

from the movie "The Little Prince"

On July 31, 1944, he left Corsica for a reconnaissance mission over occupied France. He never returned, and when neither he nor his plane was found, he was deemed killed in action. Saint-Exupéry’s mysterious disappearance made international news and was the cause of much speculation until 2000, when a scuba diver exploring the Mediterranean Sea near Marseille discovered the wreckage of a plane that was later raised and identified as Saint-Exupéry’s. Though evidence indicated that he had likely been shot down, the true cause of his death remains unknown.