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The World War II Spy Who Inspired James Bond

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Who was the real model for James Bond? If you said double agent Dusko Popov (see below), a Yugoslavian who served during World War II, you may be onto something. To write his new biography on Popov, entitled Into the Lion’s Mouth, author Larry Loftis pored over declassified WWII documents to settle on the exact moment British war vet Fleming stumbled upon his hard-drinking, womanizer of a bestselling franchise template. There are multiple reasons why Loftis’ thesis holds up, too. Read more about the real-life James Bond and the new book here. Hooked? Order a copy here.

Dusko Popov
World War II spy Dusko Popov, the model for Ian Fleming’s fictional hero James Bond (Bettmann/Contributor)