Antoine Jean-Baptiste Marie Roger de Saint-Exupéry (29 June 1900 31 July 1944) used to be a successful commercial pilot, amongst the pioneers of postal service aircraft. When World War II came, he joined the French Air Force as a reconnaissance pilot. When the armistice with Germany was signed, he escaped to the United States, took a break from aviation to write a little bit, then joined Free French Forces. In 1944, he went missing during a recon flight, and the wreck of his airplane would only be found in 2003.
Although he was a talented, devoted and famous aviator, some people might recognize him a bit better from some the books he wrote, The Little Prince above all, being one of the most important French writers of world literature and one of the most famous writers of the 20th century.
Tropes associated with him and his works:
- Author Appeal: Aircraft and aviation. Might be related to his main job.
- Author Existence Failure: Most things he wrote have been published posthumously.
- Faux Symbolism: All over the place.
- He's Just Hiding!: Speculations persist up to this day. He most likely died in the plane crash, although the plane itself wasn't located for sixty years after he went MIA, and no firm evidence exists that he was shot down by German aircraft. Considering how The Little Prince ends...
- Impoverished Patrician: He was nominally a count. His father had been a high-powered insurance executive; however, the elder Saint-Exupéry's death when Antoine was just 3 left the family with much more limited funds, especially given the high expense of the quality education his mother ensured that he and his siblings got.
List of his works:
- Aviator (1926) — the first story he'd ever written
- Southern Mail (1929)
- Night Flight (1931)
- Wind, Sand and Stars (1939) — an award-winning book about his experiences in the desert.
- Flight to Arras (1942)
- The Little Prince (1943) — one of the most important books of the 20th century, essentially a modern Alice in Wonderland discussing philosophy instead of logic.
- The Citadel — Symbolism: The Book. Published posthumously.
- And many others.