Who Is James Bond Based On? The James Bond we’ve seen in the movies doesn’t exist, whether he’s driving an underwater Lotus or using laser pistols in space.
The author’s first conception of the character as more realistic is preferable. Even while Bond isn’t based on a real person, the secret agent does draw inspiration from history. His codename, 007, is also historically significant.
Fleming is the key to it all. Fleming was a captain in British Naval Intelligence during World War II before he came up with the character of James Bond in 1953.
The author was an assistant to British Naval Intelligence Director Admiral John Godfrey. According to A Brief Guide to James Bond by Nigel Cawthorne, Godfrey is commonly believed to be the basis for the MI6 director in the series, M (albeit Godfrey wasn’t too happy about that).
The author was influenced by both famous ornithologists (who are, yes, experts on birds) and, of course, infamous spies from all over the world.
For instance, Auric Goldfinger drew inspiration from the famous Hungarian architect Erno Goldfinger, whom Fleming allegedly loathed, as reported by The Guardian. After learning that he was depicted negatively in Fleming’s novel, the actual Goldfinger attempted to file a lawsuit against the book’s publisher.
Fleming was so incensed that he almost suggested changing the name to “Goldprick” before they reached an out-of-court settlement.
These days, the Bond canon includes a lot more than just Ian Fleming’s novels. The super spies and government sleuths that Fleming met during his tenure with British Naval Intelligence in the mid-1900s provided inspiration for several of Fleming’s characters, including Bond.
Who Is James Bond Based On?
The real James Bond wasn’t a fantastic spy. Even more surprisingly, he wasn’t even working for the government. An American ornithologist, James Bond (or “Bond, James” as he would be listed in the library catalogue) was a household name. One who has written extensively about birds.
The book Birds of the West Indies was written by him. Fleming, a lifelong birder, found the book fascinating when he was a young reader.
But that’s not why he selected the name “James Bond.” Fleming famously said, “I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could find, “James Bond” was much better than something more fascinating, like “Peregrine Carruthers.”
Exotic things would happen to and around him, but he would be a neutral person — a faceless, dull instrument wielded by a government department.’” He liked the name “Bond” since it was dull.
James Bond’s bird book has symbolic geographical importance as well. The island of Jamaica in the West Indies won Fleming over, and he eventually settled there at his renowned “Goldeneye” house. Many of the author’s most acclaimed James Bond novels were penned while he was living in Jamaica.
Philly Voice adds that Fleming even hosted the real James Bond at his mansion for lunch on one occasion. According to the Voice piece, the genuine Bond was quite the hunk, being described as having “Sean Connery looks,” being affable, and being a real gentleman. And he went by Jim. Specifically: Bond, Jim.
What Is 007?
Bond’s 007 spy designation isn’t just a random number, either. The Daily Beast reports that the fabled sequence of numerals may have enormous historical importance for British Intelligence.
In the midst of World War II, Fleming studied the annals of espionage. During World War I, British codebreakers intercepted a German diplomatic code that read 0-0-7-0, which was later deciphered by the author. The military intelligence community considers it a success.
On this day in 1964, the third 007 movie, GOLDFINGER, commenced 2nd unit photography. pic.twitter.com/eNbCWlB8np
— James Bond (@007) January 20, 2023
The code, like many other elements from real life that Fleming used in his espionage novels, underwent some minor changes. Like a Bond car, he polished it to perfection. The number eventually became known as “007.” Double O Seven.
You May Also Like: