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Julia Child

Photo of Julia Child

Photo: © Paul Child

About the Author

Julia Child was born in Pasadena, California, in 1912. She graduated from Smith College and worked for the OSS during World War II. She married Paul Child and they moved to Paris, where she studied at the Cordon Bleu. In Paris, she taught cooking with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, with whom she wrote the first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961). In 1963, Boston’s WGBH launched The French Chef television series, which made Julia Child a national celebrity, earning her the Peabody Award in 1964 and an Emmy in 1966, the first of several. After a more than fifty-year career as an author, teacher, and advocate for home cooking, including numerous public television series and best-selling cookbooks, she remains a beloved culinary icon. In 2002, her Cambridge, Massachusetts, kitchen, featured in many of her television series, was displayed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where it now anchors the museum’s first major exhibit on food history. She was awarded the French Legion of Honor in 2000 and the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003 for her contributions to French and American culture. She died in Santa Barbara, California, in 2004, two days before her ninety-second birthday. Since then, the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, which Julia established before she died, has continued her legacy, by educating and encouraging others to cook, eat, and drink well, through grants and by presenting the annual Julia Child Award.

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