James Bond’s creator, one time naval intelligence officer, journalist and author Ian Lancaster Fleming, died of a heart attack in the early hours of 12th August 1964, his only son’s birthday.
After a lifetime of heavy drinking and smoking and a reluctance to cut down on the vices he so much enjoyed, Fleming collapsed after dining at a hotel in Canterbury. It was his second heart attack and while he had endured a long recuperation after his first, several years earlier, this time his health just wasn’t up to it and he died after being taken to hospital by ambulance, telling the ambulance drivers “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.”
One last novel, The Man With The Golden Gun, and a collection of short stories, Octopussy & The Living Daylights, were published posthumously.
While Ian Fleming was unable to experience Bond-mania at its height, we can all thank him for creating James Bond and allowing us to enjoy the books and films more than half a century after the death of his creator. Today if you do nothing else, raise a vodka martini to the memory of Ian Fleming.