Author. He is best remembered for creating the character of British espionage agent 007, better known as 'James Bond'. Born in London in 1908to wealthy members of British aristocracy and a Member of Parliament, when his father was killed in France during World War I, on November 20, 1917, future Prime Minister Winston Churchill wrote the obituary for the London Times. Ian Fleming was educated at Durnford School in Dorset, and later at Eton College and the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, and although he achieved some recognition at Eton for academic excellence, he dropped out of both Eton and Sandhurst, when he felt that both schools were not challenging him. His mother sent him to study languages in Austria, and later to both the University of Munich and the University of Geneva, where he learned German and French. After an unsuccessful attempt to join the Foreign Office, he became a journalist for the Reuters News Service. In 1939, he was recruited by Rear Admiral John Godfrey, Director of Naval Intelligence, to be his personal assistant. He was quickly commissioned a Reserve Lieutenant, and later promoted to Lieutenant Commander. During the war, he worked on various intelligence plans, including one to capture the German Enigma communications decoder and another plan to defend Gibraltar should Spain join the Axis powers (neither plan was used). In 1942, Fleming created the 30th Assault Unit, specifically trained for behind-the-lines intelligence gathering work, which made successful missions in Sicily and Italy. After the war, he married Anne Geraldine Mary Fleming, and they had one child, a son, Caspar Robert Fleming in 1952. Using his background in intelligence, Fleming decided to write a spy novel of the modern day, using his wartime friend and commando Patrick Dalzel-Job, as the inspiration for James Bond. James Bond first appears in the book, "Casino Royale" (1953), and then reappears in eleven novels and a collection of short stories. Starting in 1962, adaptations of the novels were made into movies which helped to make the books more popular. One book, "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1962) stands out as it is written in the first person point of view of the character of Vivienne Michel, rather than in the third person as the other books are done. In 1964, after reading the book, "Peter Rabbit," which he decried as a terrible children's book, one of his literary friends challenged him to do better, and Fleming wrote the children's novel, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," about an old racing car that could fly, which was later made into a successful movie of the same title. A heavy smoker and drinker, Fleming died of a sudden heart attack at his home in Canterbury, Kent, England, on the morning of August 12, 1964.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson
Ann Geraldine Mary Charteris Fleming
1913–1981 (m. 1952)