Child, Julia

Child, Julia,

1912–2004, American cooking teacher, author, and television personality, b. Pasadena, Calif., as Julia Carolyn McWilliams. In the early 1940s both she and her husband-to-be, Paul Child, served in the Office of Strategic ServicesOffice of Strategic Services
(OSS), U.S. agency created (1942) during World War II under the jurisdiction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the purpose of obtaining information about enemy nations and of sabotaging their war potential and morale. Headed by William J.
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 in Washington, D.C., Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and China. She learned French cooking while her husband (married 1946) was in the diplomatic service in Paris during the late 1940s. In 1961, Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle wrote Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the first practical and comparatively accessible such cookbook for an American audience. Shortly thereafter, she began hosting a series of educational television programs; the best known, The French Chef (1963–76), transformed her into an Emmy-winning public-broadcasting star. Child's relaxed, straightforward manner made preparing French cuisine seem less intimidating, and her books and programs helped to change American styles of cooking and eating as well as American attitudes toward food. Her many other cookbooks include From Julia Child's Kitchen (1975) and The Way to Cook (1989). Child's kitchen was dismantled and permanently installed in the Smithsonian Institution.


See her My Life in France (2006, with A. Prud'homme); biographies by N. R. Fitch (1997) and L. Shapiro (2007); N. V. Barr, Backstage with Julia (2007); J. Conant, A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS (2011).

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Child, Julia (b. McWilliams)

(1912–  ) chef, author; born in Pasadena, Calif. She trained in Cordon Bleu cooking schools in Paris. Her 2-volume Mastering the Art of French Cooking (coauthored, 1961–70) became a classic, and several popular television series demystified French cooking for Americans and established Child as a celebrity treasured—and often parodied—for her forthright manner and hearty humor. Her other cookbooks include The Way to Cook (1989).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
It's been a year since theater actors Nonie and Shamaine Buencamino lost their youngest child, Julia. At 15, she took her own life, and since then, life for the Buencaminos has never been the same.
She had carte blanche to say what she wanted to say." Kevin has also discovered that Julia's third child, Julia, was registered twice when she was born in 1947 - both as Julia Dykins and as Julia Lennon.