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Remembering Ian Fleming on the Anniversary of his birth

By: Steven Jay Rubin
Ian Fleming birthday 28 May 1908
The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia presents This Day in James Bond Movie History - remembering legendary 007 author Ian Fleming on the anniversary of his birth in 1908.

I’m not sure many people under the age of 40 know who Ian Fleming is today. But there would be no James Bond movie series without the man who created the James Bond character in 1952 for a novel called Casino Royale (published in 1953) – taking the character’s name from a coffee table book that sat in his den in Jamaica – “Birds of the West Indies” by James Bond (an ornithologist).

An ex-newspaper correspondent and Naval intelligence spymaster during World War II, Fleming combined his keen observation skills with his knowledge of real cloak-and-dagger escapades to create one of the most enduring heroes in literature.

Fleming’s Bond novels were filled with details about fine wines, small arms, strikingly beautiful women with stunning figures and some of the most colorful villains of all time. James Bond was a flawed hero who drank too much, smoked too much, suffered from constant mental fatigue, yet always rose to the occasion, whether it was underwater with a speargun, or with a winning Bridge or Baccarat hand.

Fleming wrote all those marvelous books on a little portable typewriter in his Jamaican cottage called Goldeneye, not far from tiny Ocho Rios. He was influenced by many writers, one of whom was his biggest fan – Raymond Chandler. Rumor has it that Chandler came to the rescue when Fleming, displeased by the number of books he was selling, was ready to kill Bond off in From Russia With Love (1957). Fortunately, that didn’t happen, and 007 returned in Dr. No (1958), which became the first James Bond movie produced by Harry Saltzman and Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli for United Artists in 1962.

Fifty-nine years later, the 25th film in the series No Time To Die debuts this fall – and there is no end in sight to this series – just ask the high honchos at Amazon, who just purchased MGM for $8.5 billion. The Bond rights – half of which they would own – was a major carrot on the stick for that sale.

So let’s toast the man who has brought joy to an enormous worldwide audience, across multiple generations. Fleming, Ian Fleming. Rest in peace, you titan of thrill fiction.

All text. Copyright © 2021 Steven Jay Rubin. All rights reserved.



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