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"Kennedy; John F. Kennedy." Those words don't have quite the same ring to them as "Bond; James Bond," but America's 35th president would no doubt have loved hearing them anyway.
Perhaps more than any other leader, Kennedy was known as a big fan of 007, even using the English spy as an example of the kind of hero we needed during the Cold War. It all started in 1954, when Kennedy – a U.S. senator at the time – was laid up after back surgery. To pass the time, Kennedy read Casino Royale, Ian Fleming's first Bond novel, and found his new idol. When Kennedy named another Fleming novel, From Russia With Love, as one of his favorite books, sales soared.
Two days before his assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963, Kennedy watched the last film he would ever see: a rough cut of the soon-to-be-released movie version of that same James Bond novel.
A Bond with the White House:
- Donald Trump is the only U.S. president since the Bond franchise began not to witness the release of a new 007 movie during his time in office.
- In 1983, President Ronald Reagan gave a laudatory British TV speech about James Bond to mark the release of Octopussy.
- According to rumors, Pierce Brosnan twice offered former President Bill Clinton a cameo in Die Another Day; Clinton apparently refused.