It is now 40 years since the premiere of Dr No, the very first Bond film, with Sean Connery introducting 007 as the glamorous secret agent who would become the single most profitable movie character in the history of cinema. But James Bond was invented by one man, Ian Fleming, a wartime intelligence officer and Sunday Times newspaper man who lived to see only the very beginning of the Bond cult. John Pearson's famous biography remains the definitive account of how only Ian Fleming could have dreamed up James Bond, for he led a life as colourful as anything in his fiction, which in turn became a covert autobiography. Charming, debonair and a ruthless womaniser, globetrotting from wartime Algiers to beachside Jamaica, Fleming was as elusive and opaque as his imaginary creation. In his new introduction, John Pearson examines the extent to which Fleming's character informs even the most recent movie portrayals of his hero, and how Bond himself has achieved immortality beyond his creator's wildest dreams.
John Pearson was born in 1930, and educated at King's College School, Wimbledon and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he read history.
He has worked on various newspapers, including the Economist, The Times, and the Sunday Times where for a time he wrote the Atticus column.
After the success of his Life of Ian Fleming, he decamped with wife and family to Rome, where he lived for some years. Mr Pearson returned to England to research and write the life and times of the Kray brothers, and is now at work on a full-scale biography of the Sitwells.