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James Bond (ornithologist)

From Academic Kids

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

The real 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 expert about 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 0618002103).

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 twentieth James Bond film, Die Another Day, Pierce Brosnan, playing the fictional Bond, can be seen examining the book Birds of the West Indies in an early scene that takes place in Havana, Cuba.

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.

References

  • 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 here (http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/Auk/v106n04/p0718-p0720.pdf), with a photograph).
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