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On 12th August 1964, Ian Fleming, the man who created secret agent James Bond 007, died of heart failure.
Son of a military and political conservative, and grandson of a Scottish banker, Ian Fleming was born on May 28, 1908 in Mayfair, London. He trained at the prestigious Eton College and the Royal Military Academy, then he graduated in modern languages in the University of Geneva.
A heavy drinker and smoker, Fleming died at age 56 in the early morning of his son Caspar’s 12th birthday.
His last recorded words were an apology to the ambulance drivers for having inconvenienced them, saying: «I am sorry to trouble you chaps. I don’t know how you get along so fast with the traffic on the roads these days.» Fleming was buried in the churchyard of Sevenhampton village, near Swindon.
He was an English author, journalist and naval intelligence officer who became best known for his James Bond series of spy novels.
The novels revolved around the mysterious James Bond, an officer in the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6. Bond was also known by his code number, 007, and was a commander in the Royal Naval Reserve.
The Bond stories rank among the best-selling series of fictional books of all time, having sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. Fleming also wrote the children’s story Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang and two works of non-fiction. Two of his James Bond books were published posthumously; other writers have since produced Bond novels.
Fleming’s character has appeared in film 24 times, portrayed by seven actors; Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.
In terms of Fleming’s connection to the local area, he attended boarding school and based several characters on people he knew and met from the Blackmore Vale.
For example, Hugo Drax, the villain in Moonraker, is said to have been named after Fleming’s acquaintance Admiral Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax. Later called plain Reginald Drax, he was the grandfather of current South Dorset MP, Richard Drax.