Mary Fanning Wickham Bond was born to a wealthy family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Dana Hall School in 1916. She later took courses at Columbia University and at the University of Pennsylvania. She was accepted to Bryn Mawr College around the time of World War I, but instead volunteered as an emergency aid nurse and air raid warden. In 1930, she married Shippen Lewis, a lawyer. She wrote poetry, magazine articles, short stories, and novels, including Device and Desire (1950), a bestseller. She also founded, edited, and wrote for the Chestnut Hill Local, a weekly Philadelphia newspaper. In 1954, following the death of her first husband, she remarried to James Bond, a prominent ornithologist. The couple spent their winters in the West Indies, where Bond wrote Birds of the West Indies. After reading the book, novelist Ian Fleming took the author's name for his master spy character. Mary Bond wrote about this chain of events in her book How 007 Got his Name (1966). She also wrote To James Bond with Love (1980), her autobiography Ninety Years at Home in Philadelphia (1988), and the memoir Far Afield in the Caribbean: Migratory Flights of a Naturalist's Wife.