American chef, author, and television personality Julia Child had a $50 million (inflation-adjusted) net worth at the time of her passing in 2004. She is credited with popularising French cuisine in America through the publication of her first cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” in 1961. She later published 16 additional cookbooks as well as the memoir “My Life in France,” which was released after her passing in 2006. In addition to the Emmy-winning “The French Chef” (1963–1973), “In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs” (1995–1996), and “Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home,” Julia also starred in a number of other television programmes (1999–2000). Meryl Streep played the role of Child in the Nora Ephron-directed movie “Julie & Julia” from 2009.
Julia Child Born: 15 August 1912
Julia Child Died: 13 August 2004
Julia Child Net Worth: $50 million
Julia Child Spouse: Paul Cushing Child (m. 1946–1994)
Julia Child Early Life
On August 15, 1912, in Pasadena, California, Julia Carolyn McWilliams was given the name Julia Child. Her father, John McWilliams, Jr., was a land manager who attended Princeton University, and her mother, Julia Weston, was the offspring of former Massachusetts lieutenant governor and founder of the Weston Paper Company, Byron Curtis Weston. John and Dorothy were Julia’s younger brother and sister, respectively. Child played basketball, tennis, and golf in her youth while attending Polytechnic School and Katherine Branson School (a boarding school in Ross, California). Julia majored in history at Smith College in Massachusetts after finishing high school, where she received her degree in 1934. Child didn’t start cooking until she was thirty years old, when she met Paul, the man who would become her husband and who was “known for his sophisticated palate.”
Julia Child Career
After graduating from college, Julia relocated to New York City and started working as a copywriter in the advertising division of W. & J. Sloane. She became a typist for the Office of Strategic Services in 1942 because she was too tall to join the Women’s Army Corps or WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) of the U.S. Navy. General William J. Donovan, head of the OSS, later promoted Child to the position of top-secret researcher. In addition, she assisted the OSS Emergency Sea Rescue Equipment Section’s shark repellent product developers and worked as a file clerk.
While overseeing the OSS Secretariat’s Registry, Julia was awarded the Emblem of Meritorious Civil Service. Child experimented with various mixtures that were sprinkled near the underwater OSS explosives after too many of them were set off by sharks. According to reports, this shark deterrent is still in use today.
After enrolling in the Cordon Bleu culinary programme in Paris, Julia studied under renowned chefs like Max Bugnard and joined the women’s cooking group Le Cercle des Gourmettes. She met Simone Beck there, who requested Child’s assistance with a French cookbook for Americans that she was co-authoring with Louisette Bertholle. A decade after starting to instruct cooking classes for American women in 1951, the trio released “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” which was followed by “Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two” in 1970.
After “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” became a bestseller, Julia started penning magazine articles and a weekly column for “The Boston Globe.” The French Chef Cookbook, Julia Child & Company, Baking with Julia, Julia’s Menus For Special Occasions, Julia’s Breakfasts, Lunches & Suppers, and Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home are just a few of the cookbooks she has published (1999).
Child made an appearance on a Boston TV station’s book review programme in 1962, and after the show’s viewers liked her cooking demonstration, she was given her own TV series. The first episode of “The French Chef” aired on WGBH in Boston in February 1963. It ran for 201 episodes over 10 seasons. In addition, Julia appeared in the following programmes: “Julia Child & Company” (1978–1979), “Julia Child & More Company” (1979–1980), “Dinner at Julia’s” (1983–1984), “Cooking with Master Chefs: Hosted by Julia Child” (1993–1994), “In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs” (1995–1996), “Baking with Julia” (1996–1998), and “Julia (1999–2000). The American Institute of Wine & Food was established in 1981 by Child, Richard Graff, and Robert Mondav as a joint venture to “advance the understanding, appreciation, and quality of wine and food.”
Julia Child Personal Life
On September 1st, 1946, Julia wed Paul Cushing Child in Lumberville, Pennsylvania. Paul was assigned to the Office of Strategic Services in Kandy, Ceylon, where the couple first met. They relocated to Washington, D.C., and after Paul enlisted in the Foreign Service of the United States, he was given the position of exhibits officer in Paris. Julia studied cooking at Le Cordon Bleu while she was a resident of France, earning her degree in 1951. The couple moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, after Paul retired in 1961.
After a protracted illness, Paul passed away in a nursing home in Lexington, Massachusetts, in 1994. The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and Culinary Arts was established the year after Julia’s death “to further her far-reaching impact as a teacher and mentor.” After her death in 2004, the Foundation started awarding the Julia Child Award and providing grants to charitable organisations.
Julia Child Death & Legacy
Julia passed away from kidney failure on August 13, 2004, in a Montecito, California, assisted living facility. Her 92nd birthday was just two days away. Child was cremated, and her remains were buried near Key Biscayne, Florida, in the Neptune Memorial Reef, an underwater cemetery. The United States Postal Service issued a set of “Celebrity Chefs Forever” stamps in 2014 that featured Edna Lewis, James Beard, Joyce Chen, Julia Child, and Felipe Rojas-Lombardi.
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