author portrait
© Adobe Stock Images

Julia Child

Julia Child was born in Pasadena, California, in 1912. After attending Smith College, she joined the Office of Strategic Services (now the Central Intelligence Agency) where she facilitated top-secret communications between U.S. government officials and intelligence officers during World War II. While stationed in Sri Lanka, she met fellow OSS employee Paul Child, and the two married after the war. In 1948, the couple moved to Paris, where Child attended the famous cooking school Le Cordon Bleu. Her first book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published in 1961, was an instant bestseller, and is now a revered classic. In 1962, she launched the first live cooking show, "The French Chef." From the 1960s through the 1990s she starred in many television shows and published more than a dozen critically acclaimed book. She is widely recognized as one of the most influential figures in American cooking. She died of kidney failure in Montecito, California, in 2004.