Julia Child: The Spy We Loved

1218744122Julia Child was awesome.

We loved her work on The French Chef. My Life in France, the autobiography she worked on with her grandnephew shortly before her death four years ago, only increased our ardor and fed our ambitions to pack up and move to Europe someday.

Sure, her prejudice against gay men was a little troubling, but our grandparents express similar sentiments, and we still love them.

But, today’s confirmation that Child was a spy during World War II makes our love for her even greater.

It was common knowledge that Child worked at the Office of Strategic Services in the 1940s, since that’s where she met her husband, Bostonian Paul Child. She told various biographers that she wanted to be a spy, but never said she actually was one.

Child seems to have feared the personality that viewers loved would have made her a terrible spy.

Child’s file shows that in her OSS application, she included a note expressing regret she left an earlier department store job hastily because she did not get along with her boss[.]

So in her nearly 92-year lifetime, Child lived in several exotic locations, met a man who supported her work, mastered the art of French cooking, essentially kept WGBH in business with her hit cooking show, wrote dozens of best-selling books, and was a spy?


Just a Pinch of Prejudice

Photo from PBS.org