The Real Life James Bond

July 28, 2008


Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, Canada, turns out to be known for reasons other than its inclement weather and its eponymous contribution to Winnie-the-Pooh. It was also the birth place of Sir William Stevenson, in all likelihood the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s fictional character James Bond.

However, the real James Bond, unlike the present incarnation, was only 5 foot 2 inches tall and had only a 6th grade education. This didn’t seem to stop him. He was a fighter pilot in World War I, a friend of Winston Churchill, had a photographic memory and a fondness for martinis and lovely ladies. He was also one of the men responsible for bringing down Hitler and the Third Reich. Stevenson was not short on talent.

Residents of Winnipeg are pushing for more recognition of Stevenson. At this point he’s been given a statue in his memory and a library has been named after him. Not exactly a legacy anyone other than a college dean would get excited over. At this point Stevenson is ranked the 53rd greatest Canadian, outranked by Pamela Anderson. A travesty and an injustice, to be sure.