Who was the real James Bond?


His name is Bond. James Bond. But as the trailer for the latest Bond movie comes out today, we wondered about the name’s origins.
The writer behind the super spy, Ian Fleming, was also an avid bird watcher. On a trip to Jamaica after World War II, he spotted a book, “Birds of the West Indies,” by an ornithologist from Philadelphia, who happened to be named James Bond.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in “Skyfall.” He says the coming “No Time to Die” will be his final Bond film. Francois Duhamel/Columbia Pictures and Metro Goldwyn Mayer
“It struck me that this brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name was just what I needed,” Mr. Fleming once wrote in a letter to the ornithologist’s wife.
But as in any good spy story, there’s a twist: Last year, the BBC reported that newly released records showed that an intelligence officer named James Bond had served under Fleming in a secret elite unit that led a guerrilla war against Hitler.
That Bond, a metal worker from Wales, had taken his spy past to the grave, his family said — and they suspected that Fleming had used the bird-watching Bond as a “classic red herring” to keep his identity a secret.

(Courtesy of the New York Times Daily Briefing)

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