The Character: Played by actors such as Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, and Daniel Craig over the years, James Bond (or 007, as you wish) is a charismatic super-spy who travels the globe as an agent for the British Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6. He's fond of gambling and women, wears a suit, has the coolest guns and gadgets, and drinks martinis -- shaken, not stirred.

The Inspiration: Author Ian Fleming wrote the original James Bond novels, and much of Bond is based on Fleming himself, including his fondness of golf and gambling, but Bond was also an amalgamation of several agents Fleming met during his time in the Naval Intelligence Division -- none of whom have names that sound as cool as James Bond, but all of these men had incredible spy skills: Sidney Cotton took photographs using a camera hidden in a plane's fuselage; Patrick Dalzel-Job was a linguist, author, navigator, parachutist, diver, and skier; Wilfred "Biffy" Dunderdale was the MI6 head of the Paris station who drove a Rolls-Royce, dressed in fine suits with Cartier cufflinks, and spent a lot of time with various women; Peter Fleming was Ian Fleming's brother and a wartime expert of military intelligence. There are several others from whom Fleming drew his inspiration, basically creating a super-spy by combining each of these men's talents and attributes. So is James Bond real? Yes, but he's not just one man -- he's a whole group of them.