Julia Child was born Julia McWilliams, in Pasadena, California. After she graduated from Smith College in 1934, she spent several years in advertising and publicity, and joined the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. Her war career took her to Washington, DC, Southeast Asia, and China, where she met her husband, Paul Child. Following their marriage in 1946, Paul joined the U.S. Information Service in Washington, and they were eventually sent to Paris, where Julia began her culinary career at Le Cordon Bleu.
While in Paris, in 1949, Julia met Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, and joined the French gastronomical society, Le Club des Gourmettes. Later the three women opened their cooking school, L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes, and began work on their first book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which was eventually published in 1961.
By this time, the Childs had returned to America and settled in the Boston area where Julia taped her first in the PBS television series "The French Chef," which aired in February 1963. In the spring of 1965 Julia Child received the George Foster Peabody Award for Distinguished Achievement in Television, and in 1966 was the first Public Television personality to win an Emmy. After some 200 programs in classical French cooking, she branched out into contemporary cuisine with the television series "Julia Child and Company," followed by "Dinner at Julia's." She was awarded Emmys in 1995 for the "Master Chef" Series and in 1997 for "Baking with Julia." In her latest television series, she teams up with Jacques Pepin in Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home.
Julia Child revolutionized the way Americans think about cooking and appreciate food. She had a major influence on our American lifestyle through her television series, books, national appearances, and involvement with all levels of the culinary world.