Writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944), was born into an aristocratic French family at the turn of the century. Saint-Exupéry was preoccupied with aviation from a young age; a passion which would lead him into the French Air Force. His first two books, Southern Mail and Night Flight, are distinguished by a poetic evocation of the romance and discipline of flying. Later works, including Wind, Sand and Stars and Flight to Arras, stress his humanistic philosophy.
Saint-Exupéry's popular children's book The Little Prince is also read by adults for its allegorical meaning. In 1944, Saint-Exupéry's plane disappeared during a mission in World War II.