Antoine de Saint-Exupery was born in Lyon, France, in 1900. Raised in an aristocratic family, he took his first airplane ride at the age of 12 and immediately fell in love. He received his pilot's wings during his compulsory military service in 1922, around which time he also began to write. 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. Saint-Exupery disappeared in July 1944 while flying a reconnaissance mission over occupied France during World War II, leading to speculation over the cause of his death that persists to the present day.