- NAME: Ian Fleming
- OCCUPATION: Author
- BIRTH DATE: May 28, 1908
- DEATH DATE: August 12, 1964
- EDUCATION: Eton College, Royal Military Academy, Munich University, University of Geneva
- PLACE OF BIRTH: London, England
- PLACE OF DEATH: Canterbury, Kent, England
- Full Name: Ian Lancaster Fleming
- AKA: Ian Fleming
Best Known For
Ian Fleming is a 20th-century novelist known for inventing popular spy character James Bond.
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Ian Fleming was born on May 28, 1908 in London, England. He worked in financial services before writing the 1953 novel Casino Royale, which featured spy character James Bond. The books were a hit, and Bond became the protagonist of a blockbuster film franchise that’s continued into the 21st century. Fleming also wrote the popular children’s book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which also became a film.
"Shaken, not stirred."
Ian Fleming, the creator of the famous James Bond spy novels, was born in London, England on May 28, 1908. One of four sons, he grew up in an affluent and influential family. His father, Valentine, served in Parliament before fighting in World War I. Fleming was only 9 years old when his father died in combat.
Fleming attended Eton College, one of the England's top schools. He later studied at Sandhurst, the elite military academy. After a stint at the Reuters news agency, Fleming tried his hand at high finance. World events, however, would soon change the course of his career.
During the war, Fleming learned the ins and outs of espionage. He received a commission in the Royal Navy and worked for British Naval Intelligence. Eventually serving as the assistant to Admiral John Godfrey, the director of Naval Intelligence, Fleming was privy to much of Britain's efforts to win the war. He traveled overseas several times, including visits to the United States to coordinate intelligence operations. He also went to Jamaica for a conference, and the island left a lasting impression on Fleming.
It has been said that much of Fleming's work in intelligence shaped and informed his James Bond novels. The character of "M," Bond's boss, is believed to have been modeled after Admiral Godfrey. The full impact of Fleming's real-life spy work on his most famous fictional figure will never likely be to known, however. He had been sworn to secrecy by the British government.
Fleming's first novel, Casino Royale, was published in 1953. The book had been written the previous year while he was on vacation at his home, which he named Goldeneye after a military mission, in Jamaica. Fleming also got married to Anne Rothermere around this time. The couple welcomed their only child, son Caspar, in 1952. He later wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a story about a magical car, to entertain his son.
While this first Bond novel came and went with little notice, Fleming's stories of a super spy with a license to kill soon caught on. Live and Let Die came out in England in 1954 quickly followed by Moonraker and Diamonds Are Forever. Readers began eagerly scoop up these tales of fast cars, beautiful women and deadly intrigue. American president John F. Kennedy and England's Prince Philip were reportedly among Fleming's many fans.
During his writing career, Fleming produced twelve Bond novels and several short stories featuring his super spy. He saw his famed character brought to life on the big screen in 1962's Dr. No with Sean Connery as James Bond.
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