James Bond (ornithologist)

James Bond (ornithologist)

Infobox Person
name = James Bond

caption =
birth_date = birth date |1900|1|4
birth_place = Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
death_date = death date and age|1989|2|14|1900|1|14
death_place = Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
other_names =
known_for = Caribbean Ornithology, namesake for Ian Fleming's James Bond
occupation = Ornithologist
nationality = American

James Bond (January 4, 1900 – February 14, 1989) was a leading American ornithologist whose name was appropriated by writer Ian Fleming for his fictional spy, James Bond.


Bond was born in Philadelphia and worked as an ornithologist at the Academy of Natural Sciences in that city, rising to become curator of birds there. He was an expert in Caribbean birds and wrote the definitive book on the subject: "Birds of the West Indies," first published in 1936 and, in its fifth edition, still in print (ISBN 0-618-00210-3).

Bond won the Institute of Jamaica's Musgrave Medal in 1952; the Brewster Medal of the American Ornithologists Union in 1954; and the Leidy Medal of the Academy of Natural Sciences in 1975. He died in the Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia at age 89.

Fictional namesake

Ian Fleming, who was a keen bird watcher living in Jamaica, was familiar with Bond's book, and chose the name of its author for the hero of "Casino Royale" in 1953, apparently because he wanted a name that sounded 'as ordinary as possible'. Fleming wrote to the real Bond's wife, "It struck me that this brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name was just what I needed, and so a second James Bond was born."

In the 2002 Bond film "Die Another Day", Bond (played by Pierce Brosnan) can be seen examining "Birds of the West Indies" in an early scene that takes place in Havana, Cuba. The author's name (James Bond) on the front cover is obscured.


*The Associated Press. "James Bond, Ornithologist, 89; Fleming Adopted Name for 007." The New York Times. February 17, 1989. p. D19.
*Kenneth C. Parkes. "In Memoriam: James Bond." "Auk". Vol. 106. p. 718. (Available as a pdf [http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/Auk/v106n04/p0718-p0720.pdf here] , with a photograph).
*cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/in_depth/uk/2000/newsmakers/1939697.stm |title=BBC NEWS : In Depth : Newsmakers : Ian Fleming: The man behind Bond - and Chitty |accessdate=2008-04-15 |author=Andrew Walker |date=19 April 2002 |publisher= BBC News profiles unit

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