Contributed by: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin

(January 4, 1900–February 14, 1989): American ornithologist and author of the famous book Birds of the West Indies. Because that book occupied a prominent place on author Ian Fleming’s coffee table in his vacation home in Jamaica, it inspired him, in 1952, to choose “James Bond” as the name of his British Secret Service agent.

Fleming later signed a copy of You Only Live Twice for the ornithologist, writing, “To the real James Bond from the thief of his identity. Ian Fleming February 5, 1964 (A great day!)”[1]

James Bond, the ornithologist, a native of Philadelphia and a graduate of Cambridge University, was a former curator of ornithology at the Academy of Natural Sciences in his hometown. He was the leading authority on birds of the West Indies for more than half a century, and he is best known among scientists for proving that birds of the Caribbean originated in North America, not South America.

[1] “How 007 Got His His Name,” retroculturati (blog), May 4, 2019,


Subscribe on your favorite podcast app