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Born to Be Bond If Daniel Craig’s blockbuster performance in Skyfall hasn’t convinced you that he was born to play 007, how about this: Daniel Craig and James Bond are related. But lest you think this is a hoax and that the very real Craig is related to Ian Fleming’s fictional superspy, we’re not talking about 007—at least not yet. Before Fleming began the first Bond novel, Casino Royale—which celebrates its 60th birthday this year—he took a trip to Jamaica. There he saw the name of ornithologist James Bond printed on the cover of Birds of the West Indies and was struck by what he later called the “brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name.” Soon after, the black haired, blue eyed MI6 agent was born. The book was a success and in the course of fourteen years, along with the well-known children’s story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Fleming wrote 13 other actionpacked Bond novels. In 1962, Bond hit the big screen with Sean Connery in Dr. No, and in the years to follow at least half a dozen others have taken on the role of 007. Though most came with the traditional black hair and blue eyes, only the blonder, but no less tough, Daniel Craig is linked to the original Bond himself. John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster and son of King Edward III of England are both in their family trees—making Bond the birder and Bond the superspy half 19th cousins. The relation may not be close enough to catch the two at a family reunion, but it’s a worthy fun fact. And, as Family Historian Michelle Ercanbrack says, “We don't know if Daniel Craig ever considered a career in the ornithological sciences, but maybe now that we've found this connection, it will inspire him to buy a good pair of binoculars—for secret spy work or bird watching!"

--Courtney Manwaring

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