Last Updated: May 13, 2024
Richest CelebritiesAuthors
Net Worth:
$100 Million
May 28, 1908 - Aug 12, 1964 (56 years old)
Mayfair, London
6 ft (1.83 m)
Journalist, Author, Writer, Novelist
United Kingdom
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What was Ian Fleming's Net Worth?

Ian Fleming was an English author, journalist, and naval intelligence officer who had a net worth equal to $100 million at the time of his death in 1964 (adjusting for inflation). Ian Fleming was best known for authoring the James Bond series of novels. He came from a wealthy family and was connected to the Robert Fleming & Co. merchant bank. He worked for Britain's Naval Intelligence Division during World War II and planned Operation Goldeneye. His naval career provided inspiration and background for his Bond novels. He authored his first James Bond novel "Casino Royale" in 1952. The series ranks among the best-selling series of fictional books in history, with more than 100 million copies sold. He also authored the children's story "Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang." His Bond series has been translated into film dozens of times. The title character has been played by some of the world's most famous actors, including Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig. Ian Fleming passed away on August 12, 1964, at 56 years old from heart disease after a lifetime of heavy smoking and drinking.

Early Life

Ian Fleming was born on May 28, 1908 in London, England. He was born into a wealthy family which was connected to the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co. His father, Valentine Fleming, was a Member of Parliament, and his mother was Evelyn Fleming. In 1914, his father joined the C Squadron of the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars and rose to the rank of major. He was subsequently killed on the Western Front during World War I in May 1917.

Fleming grew up with his older brother, Peter, and his two younger brothers, Michael and Richard. He also had a younger half-sister, Amaryllis, who was conceived during an affair that his mother had with the artist Augustus John following the death of Valentine.

Fleming attended Durnford School on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset in 1914, though he did not enjoy his time there as he was bullied. In 1921, he enrolled at Eton College, where he excelled academically. In 1927, he began studying at a small private school in Austria, which was run by the former British spy Ernan Forbes Dennis. His mother hoped that studying there would help him gain entry into the Foreign Office. He was able to improve his language skills there and then studied briefly at the University of Geneva and Munich University. He did take the Foreign Office exam and passed, though he failed to get a job offer.


After his mother had intervened on his behalf, Fleming was able to get a job as a sub-editor and journalist for Reuters News Agency. He worked in Moscow in April of 1933, where he covered the Stalinist show trial of six engineers from the British company Metropolitan-Vickers. He then returned to London and, caving into family pressure, took a job in banking.

In 1939, Fleming was recruited by Rear Admiral John Godfrey, the Director of Naval Intelligence of the Royal Navy, to become his personal assistant. He joined the organization and was given the codename 17F. He excelled in the position and was frequently used as a liaison between the Naval Intelligence Department and other sections of the government's wartime administration. As the years went on, he took on more and more responsibility and is credited with writing a number of now-famous memos that circulated during the war. In 1942, he formed a unit of commandos known as 30 Assault Unit (30AU), which was composed of specialist intelligence troops whose job was to be near the front line of an advance in order to seize enemy documents from enemy headquarters. The success of 30AU led to the establishment of T-Force, whose primary goal was to guard and secure documents, persons, and equipment after large towns and ports in enemy territory were captured.

While attending an Anglo-American intelligence summit in Jamaica, he decided to live on the island once the war was over. He purchased a plot of land in Saint Mary Parish and built a house there, which he named Goldeneye. He was demobilized from service in May of 1945 and then became the foreign manager of the Kemsley newspaper group, which owned "The Sunday Times." His contract allowed him three months' holiday every year, which he spent in Jamaica at Goldeneye.

Ian Fleming Net Worth


James Bond

Fleming began writing novels in the late 1940s. His first novel, "Casino Royale," in 1952, told the story of a British Intelligence officer named James Bond. Between 1953 and 1966, he published eleven additional Bond novels and two collections of short stories. His Bond novels became a massive success and remain some of the best-selling series of fiction books of all time. In 2008, "The Times" ranked Fleming 14th on its list of "The 50 Greatest British Writers Since 1945." His books went on to inspire dozens of James Bond films. As of this writing, Bond books have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.

Personal Life and Death

While living in Geneva, Fleming became romantically involved with Monique Panchaud de Bottens. They became engaged just before he returned to London to take the Foreign Office exam. However, after Fleming returned from working in Russia, he broke off the engagement after his mother threatened to cut off his trust fund allowance. In 1935, he met Muriel Wright while skiing in Austria and began a long-term relationship with her until she died during a bombing raid in 1944. He also had an affair with Ann O'Neill in 1939. O'Neill was married to the 3rd Baron O'Neill. In 1952, he married Ann Charteris, with whom he had been having an affair with for several years. They had a son, Casper, in 1952. Both Fleming and Charteris had affairs during their marriage.

Fleming was a heavy smoker and drinker throughout his adult life and suffered from heart disease. In 1961, at the age of 53, he suffered a heart attack and struggled to recover fully. In August of 1964, he suffered another heart attack shortly after having lunch at the Royal St. George's Golf Club. He died at the age of 56 at Kent and Canterbury Hospital on August 12, 1964 – the same day as his son's 12th birthday. He was buried in the churchyard of Sevenhampton. His last two books, "The Man with the Golden Gun" and "Octopussy and the Living Daylights," were published posthumously.

Goldeneye Estate

In 1946, Ian Flemming bought 15 acres of land on Jamaica's northern coast, which overlooks Oracabessa Bay. He soon proceeded to construct a private mansion, which he named Goldeneye. Ian wrote all of his James Bond novels at Goldeneye, and several Bond movies shot scenes at the home or nearby.

Ian died in 1964. In 1976, the property was acquired by Bob Marley. Marley only owned Goldeneye for a year before selling it to the owner of his record company, Chris Blackwell. Blackwell expanded Goldeneye to 40 acres, added more structures, renamed the local beach "James Bond Beach," and, in 1980, opened the estate as the Goldeneye Hotel & Resort.

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