Ian’s real inspiration for James Bond

My great uncle passed in May, but not before revealing on his deathbed that he was the real life inspiration for the James Bond character. He detailed a mission Ian sent him on to Tokyo where he was arrested with Richard Sorge. His names was James Turner Stephens Jr, from Richmond VA. He was recruited to work for British Intelligence at Rockefeller center in 1941. He went to the White House with Ian in May 1941. His entire persona and mission is the embodiment of 007, license to kill and his physical characteristics match James Bond as well. He even detailed Ian’s visit in 1962, which Ian even mentioned in the April 1962 New Yorker article.


  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited September 2020 Posts: 8,658
    Posting the New Yorker article would be a nice tribute, if someone has access to it. I found this one, there may be another you're referring to.


    It wouldn't be out of line to remember your James and the MANY suggested real life influences on Fleming for creating his Bond character here, @chuckx. Richard included.


  • chuckxchuckx Virginia
    Posts: 4
    Over the past few months I have continued to research his involvement. It is becoming clear that Mi6 hired him to protest an America First rally on April 23, 1941. That is where he got into a fight with Nazi sympathizers. He also worked on the wire tapping of the foreign offices in Manhattan for Mi6. The 007 originated from the agents that helped connect a phone call to Stalin for Roosevelt. 007 was the international dialing code for Russia. Jack and his mission played a heavy part in the content of the novels.
  • chuckxchuckx Virginia
    Posts: 4
    So I obviously continue to post here, sort of random. This is the true story that inspired perhaps four of Ian's novels and certainly the actual description of James physically. The novels were allegorical to real events. Those real events have not yet been declassified, yet these are the events that Ian decided to write about. They would re-write the history books.
  • chuckxchuckx Virginia
    Posts: 4
    Correction on 007, that was actually the dialing code for the Berlin telephone exchange. They were smuggling calls through that exchange without Berlin knowing.
  • edited June 4 Posts: 1,459
    chuckx, really cool to read about your great uncle, his connection with Fleming, and the things you mention that your great uncle did! Perhaps you should see if you can add his name to the Wikipedia page, Inspirations for James Bond. Several are already on there, including Conrad O’Brien-ffrench, who I met at least once in the 1980s through friends near Denver Colorado, near where he lived. At that time he was more noted for being an artist, but he'd been a British Secret Intelligence Officer, mountaineer and skier.

    Based on your post, I went to the web and learned that, about Fleming's trip to Washington D.C. in 1941, it was because the U.S. and Great Britain agreed to share intelligence regarding the WW2 threat. Winston Churchill had sent Fleming and Admiral Godfrey. They met with the head of the secret British spy organization in the U.S. and held high-level talks with American officials. They also met with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Fleming also apparently wrote two important papers on how to create America’s new intelligence agency.
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