Julia Child is known by many as just a chef who brought French cuisine to American food lovers through her TV show. She is, however, much more than that; among many other things that a lot of people don’t know, Julia is also an author.
Beyond just her professional and personal life, the following are the lesser known facts about the chef.
Julia Child Biography (Age)
The chef was born Julia Carolyn McWilliams on August 15, 1912, in Pasadena, California. She was brought up there together with a brother and a sister by their wealthy parents, Julia Carolyn Weston and John McWilliams. Her maternal grandfather, Byron Curtis Weston served as the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts from 1880 to 1883.
For her education, she went to Katherine Branson School and then the Smith College from where she graduated with a major in History. Even though it was as a chef that she would come to be known and respected, Julia was into sports when she was in school. She took part in basketball, tennis, and athletics although she didn’t excel in any enough to make a profession out of it.
To think that she started cooking when she was a little child would be everything very far from the truth. In fact, she didn’t start cooking until much later in her life when she met Paul Cushing Child, the man who would later become her husband. Before then, her family had a cook who took care of what the family had to eat so there was no reason for her to learn how to do that. Or so she believed.
Her first job was with an advertising firm before she was fired for insubordination. At the Second World War, she wanted to join the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) or the U.S. Navy’s WAVES but due to her too much height, she joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
By the time the war was over, she went to the popular cooking school Le Cordon Bleu before going on to train with Max Bugnard and some others. Before too long, she had her own show, The French Chef in 1963. She would go on to write a number of cookbooks as well as for newspapers.
Child also hosted other TV shows including Cooking with Master Chefs, Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home, and Baking with Julia. These and her books have got her winning awards including multiple Daytime Emmy Awards, U.S. National Book Awards, and a Peabody Award.
After battling a kidney failure, Julia Child died on August 12, 2004, in Montecito, California. She was aged 91 at the time.
Husband and Children
Julia Child spent a very large part of her life with her husband, Paul Cushing Child. The two met during the Second World War when they both served in the OSS. They got married in 1946 and remained together until the death of Paul on May 12, 1994, at the age of 92.
Unfortunately, as a result of fertility problems, the couple did not get to have any children. According to the chef, if she had had any child, she would have devoted her life to them.
As pointed above, Julia Child was a basketball player when she was in school. It gets interesting to know that she did not exactly get to play for the school team because of her talent but for her height which measured at 6 feet, 2 inches. That placed her tallest among her other teammates but not necessarily the best player.
Lesser Known Facts About The Chef
1. Contrary to all we have been told about red meat and gin, Child has attributed the longevity of her life to consuming red meat and gin.
2. With her induction into the Culinary Institute Hall of Fame in 1993, she became the first woman to be so honored.
3. She would not have had a career if she had been able to conceive and have children.
4. In 2003, President George W. Bush awarded Child the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom which is the highest civilian award in the country. She got the award for enhancing the American culture and teaching the country how to cook.
5. Her first date with the man who later became her husband was over a French meal in Paris. That may explain her love for French cuisine.