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Julia Child

Julia Child (born August 15, 1912), née Julia McWilliams, is an American food writer who is widely credited with introducing French cuisine and cooking techniques to mainstream U.S. audiences. Her most famous work is Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vols 1-2 (with Simone Beck).

She had a long-running (and amusing) television series on PBS called Cooking with Julia Child (currently in syndication on the Food Network[?]). Her straightforward, unpretentious, and reliable recipes arguably did more for French cooking in U.S. households than any celebrity chef has done before or since. Her television kitchen has been preserved by the Smithsonian.

Less well-known was her service for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. Julia McWilliams graduated from Smith College in 1934 and then worked in the W&J Sloane advertising department before joining the OSS (as she says, "because I was too tall to get into the WACs[?] or WAVEs[?]"). She worked with the OSS Emergency Sea Rescue Equipment Section in Washington, DC for a year, developing shark repellent, and was then posted to Kandy[?], Ceylon (where she met her future husband Paul Cushing Child), and to China, where she was Head of the Registry of OSS Secretariat.

Following the war, she resided in Washington, D.C., where she married Paul Child in 1946. Paul Child was then stationed with the State Department in Paris, where Julia developed her interest in French cooking.

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