Born on June 28th 1908, the infinity famous English novelist Ian Fleming wrote the many James Bond sultry spy novels now renewed in fame by more recent movies using the new blond Bond, Daniel Craig. Author, journalist, and Naval Intelligence Officer- Ian Fleming is best known today for creating the fantastical flirty fictional spy Bond, James Bond in the series of twelve novels plus nine short stories about the vixen-chasing British agent.
Fleming came from a wealthy family and received a military education as well as university schooling in Munich and Geneva. Like many writers, Ian dabbled in a few areas before discovering the aptitude and adoration of putting pen to paper, as they say. And aptitude seems a modest description considering his Bond books are among the bestselling series for fictional literature of all time. Ever. Over 100 million copies have sold globally. Take that Harry Potter and your target child audience. Bond is for the big boys. Although author Fleming did write the children’s book Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car. Seems ol’ 007 wasn’t the only one with a propensity fancy wheels.
Like the best, Ian Fleming pulled inspiration for his novels from his life experience, in particular from his work in British Naval Intelligence during the Second World War. He even pulled the name directly from a mission he helped plan- Operation Golden Eye.
In his personal life, Fleming married a divorces named Anne Charteris. Much like his beloved plots, Ian Fleming’s marriage was not without strife and juicy secrets. They both are reported to have had affairs, while Anne’s first marriage ended because of her initial relationship with Ian. Also like many of the best authors, Fleming suffered from heavy addictions- tobacco and alcohol. They surely were the triggers for his early passing in 1964 from a heart attack. A true bibliophile, Fleming collected over 1000 copies of books (valued at $897,686 today) he considered milestones in literature of science, technology, and Western civilization. He housed his collection in an island home aptly named Goldeneye in Jamaica.
Yet Ian Fleming the Bond novel author was not going to slip away so silently. Two of his books were published post mortem. Five separate authors have even kept his torch going by continuing his series in writing while a full 24 film renditions were created from his Bond novels, starring seven different Bonds, each with his own grasp of the character’s dynamic. Although one trait always remains- the trade-mark 007, shaken not stirred, gadget-driven playboy spunk that just screams Bond.
Passing the spy torch forever at a young 56 years of age, Fleming, Ian Fleming will always have a place in the hearts of eager young boys wishing for the Bond kind of life, daydreaming adults, and of course the vixens out there he similarly inspired. He immortalized a character and a life style, which in turn immortalized a few actors who played it. Live on, dreams of Fleming, and take a martini on your birthday, anyway you like it.