Ian Fleming, the inventive mind behind the creation of the world renowned character, James Bond Agent 007 was a British author, journalist and secret service agent. His internationally acclaimed Bond stories full of violence, colorful locations, spying, dangerous adventures and beautiful women have been best sellers worldwide. In addition to 12 James Bond novels, Fleming has also authored 9 short stories.
Ian Fleming was born in London on May 28, 1908 to a wealthy English family. He was educated at prestigious institutions such as Eton and Sandhurst military academy in England, Germany and Switzerland. Before attaining fame as a writer, Fleming pursued journalism at Reuters during 1929-1933 after which he took up banking (1935-1939). Between the years of 1945 and 1949 he was a Naval Intelligence Officer while also representing the London Sunday Times as a Foreign Manager during World War II.
During his years in the Naval Intelligence, Fleming obtained the rank of Lieutenant moving on to becoming a Commander. He was the full time assistant of the director, the right hand man of Admiral John Godfrey who was a top British spymaster. All the while plotting and executing dangerous missions, Fleming fed his imagination. His experiences were later reflected in his adventurous James Bond tales. Towards the end of his career as a secret service agent, Ian discovered the beautiful island of Jamaica, away from war, full of peace and pleasure where he would later build a house and write his famous Bond series.
After retiring, Fleming started building his new career of writing and a home in Jamaica. The house, although huge was simple with no air conditioning or hot water plumbing. Ian named the house Goldeneye. For 6 years Fleming followed the routine of arriving at Goldeneye in the first week of January and then leaving for England in the first week of March. He would come to Jamaica to relax his nerves, romance women and enjoy the Jamaican sunsets until a married woman who had been having an affair with Fleming, Lady Anne Rothermere, became pregnant with his child. The pressure finally caused Fleming at the age of 44 to become serious in life. He wrote his first novel, Casino Royale while waiting in Jamaica for Anne’s divorce and to get married to her.
The next 12 years of Fleming’s life gave the world unforgettable stories of James Bond Agent 007, the charming playboy who was not only a symbol of bravery but also a style icon who possessed an admiration for the fastest cars, up to date electronic gadgets and a branded lifestyle. His introductory phrase ‘Bond, James Bond’ is recognized all over the world.
Some popular Bond novels which were adapted to screen include From Russia, with Love (1957), Dr. No (1958), Goldfinger (1959), and Thunderball (1961). Despite receiving much criticism, the Bond phenomenon continued to grow not only through new novels but also through merchandising such as clothes, games and toys. New Bond movie releases have continued over the years and so has the series of novels written by other writers even after the death of Ian Fleming.
Fleming’s declining health and outdoor activities which were prohibited by his doctors caused a heart attack leading to his death at the Royal St. George’s Sandwich golf course in Kent on 12 August, 1964.