Live and Let Fly: The Secret History of James Bond

Bond, James Bond: Ornithologist

It is widely known pop-culture lore that Ian Flemming named his famous character after the author of “Birds of the West Indies.” The character was given this name because it seemed like the perfect name and perfect cover for a spy.

This is James Bond’s story (or at least, to the best of our reckoning.)

James Bond was born in 1900 in Philadelphia and moved to England in 1914.  He joined MI6 shortly afterward and spent several years training to be a secret agent.  After leaving the academy, James was sent on a mission to the Amazon Rainforest.  While there, he joined an illustrious fellowship when he received his Double-0 license (“license to kill”) and began his journey to become one of just 290 people in the history of the world to describe more than 4 new species of birds.  The story of that expedition was famously dramatized in the thriller “You Only Chirp Twice”, starring Dwarf Vireo as the villainous Oddjob. Continue reading