Ben Macintyre wrote an article originally published in The Times (now inaccessible due to a paywall) and republished by the Ottawa Citizen in which he argues that Ian Fleming’s father, Valentine Fleming,who died in the First World War, provided the prototype for James Bond. According to the article Fleming once said:
“I couldn’t possibly be Bond,” he once said. “He’s got more guts than I have. He’s also considerably more handsome.”
Macintyre goes on to say:
Those qualities were instead projected on to a father he had barely known and a figure he invented in fiction. Fleming himself could never live up to the mythologized ideal of his father’s heroism, but 007 could. Bond is himself a war veteran: Fleming hints at action “behind the lines” in the Ardennes in 1944; Bond kills two wartime enemy agents, a Japanese code-breaker in the Rockefeller Centre and a Norwegian double agent he stabs to death in Stockholm.