Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Author Ian Fleming Died (August 12, 1964)
On this date in English literary history - August 12, 1964, author and journalist Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, the world’s most famous spy, died from a heart attack at age 56 in Kent, England. Fleming’s series of novels about Agent 007, based in part on his own real-life experiences, spawned one of the most lucrative film franchises in history. Ian Lancaster Fleming was born into a well-to-do family in London on May 29, 1908. As an adult, he worked as a foreign correspondent, a stockbroker and a personal assistant to Britain’s director of naval intelligence during World War II; experiences that would all provide fodder for his Bond novels. The first Bond book, Casino Royale, was published in 1953. In all, Fleming wrote 12 novels and two short story collections about Agent 007, which together sold more than 18 million copies. The first Bond film, Dr. No, was released in 1962; it starred the Scottish actor Sean Connery in the title role. Connery played Bond in six films altogether; From Russia With Love (1963) and Goldfinger (1964) were the only ones made during Fleming’s lifetime. Since that time, five other actors have played the superspy in some two dozen films. Fleming, who did much of his writing at his Jamaican home, Goldeneye, he also penned a children’s book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and several works of non-fiction. Following Fleming’s death, a string of other authors were commissioned to write Bond novels.