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.
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.
World War II
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.
Death and Legacy
While audiences were packing movie theaters to see James Bond in action, his creator was facing health problems. He had his first serious heart attack in 1962, and he never seemed to fully recover from that incident. Fleming died on August 12, 1964, in Canterbury, England. He had been taken to a hospital there after suffering another heart attack.
Fleming may be gone, but James Bond remains a vital part of popular culture. After Sean Connery, numerous other actors, such as Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton, have taken up the legendary suave spy role. Daniel Craig played Bond in the most recent film in the series, 2012's Skyfall and more movies are in the works. It seems that audiences have an insatiable desire to immerse themselves in Bond's world of guns, girls and gadgets.
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