About Julia Child

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Julia Child She was born JULIA CAROLYN MC WILLIAMS in Passadena, California, a daughter of John Williams, Jr., a Princeton graduate and prominent land owner and his wife, a paper heiress whose father served as a lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. At six feet, two inches (1.88) tall, Child played tennis, golf, and basketball as a child and continued to play sports while attending college. Julia graduated in 1934 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. After her graduation she moved to New York city, where she worked as a copywriter for an advertising department. When she returned to California in 1937, she spent the next four years writing for local publications and in advertising. World War II Julia Child joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and worked at first as a typist at its headquarters in Washington but was soon promoted to the position of a top secret researcher because of her education and experience. In 1944 she was posted to Sri Lanka, where her responsibilities included registering cataloguing and channelling a great volume of highly classified communications fort he OSS’S clandestine station in Asia. For her work she even received an award. After the War In 1946 she married Paul Child and the couple moved to Washington D.C. Paul was originally from New Jersey but lived in Paris as an artist and poet. He was known for his sophisticated palate. It was him who introduced his wife to fine French cuisine. In 1948 they moved to Paris after the US State Department assigned Paul there as an exhibit officer. The couple had no children. Child repeatedly recalled her first meal in Rouen as a culinary revelation. It was for her an opening up of the soul and spirit. In Paris she attended the famous Le Cordon Bleue cooking school and also studied privately with famous people, such as Simone Beck, who was writing a French cookbook for Americans with her friend. Later Child even began to teach cooking in her kitchen. The informal school was called "L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes." For the next decade the three researched and tested recipes, while the Child’s travelled around Europe. She also translated them into English. When the first cookbook was finally published by Knopf it was called “Mastering of Art of French Cooking” and was a bestseller. Julia’s husband, Paul, who was ten years older, died in 1994 after living in a nursing home for five years. She moved to a retirement community in 2001 and donated her house and office to the Smith College.