James Bond's creator, Ian Lancaster Fleming, was born in 1908. His father died a hero in the First World War when Ian was almost nine. Ian's mother, Evelyn, inherited his father's large estates but under a trust which cut her out should she ever re-marry.
Ian attended Eton but left before graduating as a result of an incident involving a girl. He then attended Sandhurst military academy but again left before graduating, this time as a result of being caught out after curfew.
After failing to pass the exams to enter the foreign service, Ian began a career as a journalist with Reuters. In 1933, he left Reuters to join a bank. In 1939, he undertook an assignment for the Times to report on a trade mission to the Soviet Union. It would seem that he was actually acting as a spy for the Foreign Office.
In May 1939, Fleming joined Naval Intelligence, where he eventually became a Commander and assistant to Britain's top spy master, Admiral John Godfrey. During the War, Fleming was in charge of a commando unit which he sent on intelligence missions behind German lines (while he stayed in London).
After the War, Fleming joined Kemsley newspapers and built a home in Jamaica where he spent most of the English winter.
In 1952, Fleming (now 44) became engaged to Lady Anne Rothermore. While waiting in Jamaica for her divorce to become final, he wrote his first novel, Casino Royale. During the next twelve years, he wrote 14 James Bond novels as well as other books and a regular Sunday Times column.
From the late 1950s, Fleming's health declined. He died in 1964 at the age of 56.
James Bond was born in Scotland on 11 November 1920. His parents were killed in a climbing accident in France when James was twelve and he was raised by his aunt, Charmaine Bond. James was sent to Eton but after two years was expelled and finished his schooling at Fettes in Edinburgh.
After completing his education, James joined the Department of Defence where he rose to the rank of Naval Commander. In 1946, he was posted to Washington as a liaison officer but, after a scandal involving the death of a congressman's wife, he was asked to quit the Service - only to be invited to return later that year and assigned to the 00 Division (later called MI6). He has been given many assignments but their details remain secret.
James had two illegitimate sons. Clive Reston Beauregard was born in 1946. His mother is Violet Holmes, a descendant of Sherlock Holmes brother, Mycroft. James Suzuki was born in 1964 and died in 1996. His mother was Kissy Suzuki.
Since the 1950s, a number of James Bond novels have been published in an effort to protect Bond from assassination by convincing SMERSH that he does not really exist.
... or so they say.