Julia Child (August 15, 1912 - August 13, 2004) was an American chef, author and television personality. She is recognized for introducing French Cusine to the American public with her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her subsequent television program,The French Chef, which premiered in 1963.
While Julia is the French Chef to many Americans, she is wasn’t always a chef.
During World War II, Julia joined the Office of Strategic Survices (OSS) and worked as a top secret researcher for the head of OSS, General William J. Donovan. As a research assistant in the Secret Intelligence division, she typed 10,000 names on white note cards to keep track of officers. In 1944 she was posted to Kandy, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), where her responsibilities included “registering, cataloging and channeling a great volume of highly classified communications” for the OSS’s clandestine stations in Asia. She was later posted to China, where she received the Emblem of Meritorious Civilian Service as head of the Registry of the OSS Secretariat.
In 2000, Child received the French Legion of Honor and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003 and also received honorary doctorates from Harvard University, Johnson and Wales University, her alma mater Smith College, Brown University, among others.
Happy Happy 100th Birthday, Julia Child. RIP.