GOT HIS NAME
“I was determined that my secret agent should be as anonymous a
personality as possible. It struck me that his name, brief,
unromantic, and yet very masculine, was just what I needed.”
Ian Fleming and the ‘real’ James Bond met only once on February 5,
1964, at the author's home in Jamaica. On the same day Fleming was
interviewed for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation [featured as
an extra on the From Russia With Love Ultimate Edition
DVD and Blu-ray]. In 1966 Collins published a slim volume entitled How
007 Got His Name by Mary Wickham Bond. This book [illustrated
below] is a fascinating account of the day Mary Bond's husband met
the thief of his identity. Also included in the book is the complete
text of On Her Majesty's Ornithological Service by Avian
Flemish, a short story parody by American ornithologist Kenneth C.
Parkes (1922-2007) [curator of the Carnegie Museum of Natural
History, Pittsburgh]. The short parody was first published in 1964
in The Auklet - a humorous journal edited by Parkes.
Arizona Republic, Friday, February 17th, 1989.
LENT HIS NAME TO 007
James Bond, an ornithologist whose name was adopted for the
fictional British agent in Ian Fleming’s novels, has died at
Mr Bond, who died Tuesday, was a curator of ornithology at the
Academy of Natural Sciences and was the leading authority on
birds of the West Indies for more than 50 years. He was best
known scientifically for proving that some Caribbean birds
originated in North America, not South America.
In recognition of his discovery, the geographic line dividing
Caribbean birds of North American ancestry from those of South
American origins has been called ‘Bond’s Line.’
His contribution to popular culture came after World War II
when Fleming saw his book Birds of the West Indies. Fleming, a
bird watcher, was writing a thriller at the time and adopted
the name for the dashing character portrayed in movies by Sean
Connery, Roger Moore and others.
“It struck me that this brief unromantic, Anglo-Saxon name was
just what I needed, and so a second James Bond was born,”
Fleming wrote. Years later he wrote to Mr Bond’s wife, Mary:
“In return I can only offer you or James Bond unlimited use of
the name Ian Fleming for any purposes you think fit.”
Mr Bond, a native of Philadelphia, earned a bachelor’s degree
at Cambridge University and made his first scientific
expedition in 1925 when he travelled up the Amazon River to
collect bird skins and live birds.