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William Stephenson, Roald Dahl, and Ian Flemming: The Birth of James Bond 007

With the upcoming release of the twenty-third movie in the James Bond 007 series I thought it was time to finish the true life story of Winnipeg’s own William Stephenson the inspiration for the character of James Bond.

For the back story on Stephenson before World War 2 please read the my earlier posts – William Stephenson the quiet man that would inspire 007 and James Bond, Winston Churchill and Adolph Hitler – The Canadian Connection.

The morning of May 18, 1940 as recorded by Randolph Churchill: “I went up to my father’s bedroom. He was standing in front of his basin and was shaving with his old fashioned Valet razor. He had a tough beard, and was as usual hacking away.

‘Sit down, dear boy, and read the papers while I finish shaving .’ I did as told.  After two or three minutes of hacking away, he half-turned and said: ‘I think I see my way through.’ He resumed shaving.

I was astounded , and said: ‘Do you mean we can avoid defeat (which seemed credible), or beat the bastards (which seemed incredible)?’

He flung his razor into the basin, swung around, and said: ‘Of course I mean we can beat them.’

Me: ‘Well I’m all for that, but I don’t see how you can do it.’

By this time he had dried and sponged his face and turning around to me, said with great intensity: ‘I shall drag the United States in.’

The TRUE Intrepid. By Bill Macdonald. Page 69

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