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Julia Child Was a Spy For the Early CIA

Late celebrity chef Julia Child may have brought all things culinary to the masses, but there was one secret she kept from the world: She was a spy.

Newly released personnel records reveal that Julia Child was part of an international spy ring managed by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), an early version of the CIA created during World War II by President Theodore Roosevelt. Before she became a famous chef, Child helped the OSS develop shark repellent, an explosives coating that was critical to protecting ammunition used to sink German U-boats during the war.

Yesterday, the National Archives released a list of nearly 24,000 names that were in the previously classified records. Are you surprised by this recent news? Does it change the way you perceive the nation's first celebrity chef?


Join The Conversation
Aclarie Aclarie 8 years
I remember hearing this years ago and my mom telling me about it when i was lil while we watch her show on pbs.
anney anney 8 years
Am I complete dork for just noting that it was Franklin, not Theodore, Roosevelt that was President right before and during WW II? It's okay, I know I probably am.
puddlesworth puddlesworth 8 years
Thats freaking awesome.
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 8 years
I too learned this at the Spy Museum :) It is totally cool, really. She would have been perfect because she seemed so normal and able to blend in. It makes me respect and admire her even more.:)
3Sweeties 3Sweeties 8 years
I learned about this at the Spy Museum in DC. In fact, it is the ONLY thing I learned. HA!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that's so interesting that she was a spy :) it's all things like that which make a person even more intriguing. can you imagine sweet Julia Child as a spy providing top secret information to people ?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
this is old news really.
limelindsey limelindsey 8 years
Just makes her even more awesome! Though I sort of suspected it after reading about her history. Good stuff.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 8 years
Make a pie, be a spy! I love this story.
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 8 years
I think its pretty cool!
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 8 years
Yet more proof that Julia Child was a total badass.
theplaiddress theplaiddress 8 years
I thought we'd known about her for a while; people hadn't necessarily believed it was the OSS, but she certainly revealed she'd been a spy in her posthumously published memoir.... the big news to me was the thousands of other famous names on the list that hadn't been disclosed yet.
wren1 wren1 8 years
She was such a cool woman!
suziryder suziryder 8 years
This boggles my mind. When I think CIA spy, I think Jennifer Garner kicking you-know-what in high heels and a skin-tight outfit. This definitely changes my opinion of Julia Child - she was much more bad-a** than I ever imagined! (Although I don't believe she was ever one of those butt-kicking secret weapons and martial arts operative types...)
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 8 years
I heard about this a long time ago. I couldn't imagine her as a spy though.
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