There was a real James Bond — but not who you’d think. James Bond was an American ornithologist, author of Field Guide to Birds of the West Indies. That Bond’s claim to fame was the discovery that Caribbean birds flew south from colder climates to get there, not north from South America. Fleming said that he chose the name because it was manly, unromantic and short — but he later wrote a letter to the ornithology-Bond family offering them unlimited use of the name Ian Fleming (and suggested it would be a good name for an especially ugly new bird species).
Other Bond characters who share names with real-world people include Pussy Galore (named for a notorious brothel operator from upstate New York) and Dr. Kanaga, the Live and Let Die villain (named for Ross Kanaga, who owned the crocodiles with whom Bond faces off — and who even served as a stunt double for some croc scenes).