Julia Child

Julia Child

Reading Comprehension for August 15

She was a hard woman to miss. She stood six feet two inches tall. Her distinctive voice was recognized and imitated by many. She didn't look or dress much like a famous chef. But she was regarded by experts all over the world as one of the very best.

Julia Carolyn McWilliams was born in California. August 15, 1912, was the date of her birth. Her family was wealthy. Julia grew up eating the New England style cooking of the family maid. While attending Smith College, Julia's height was an advantage. She played basketball while earning a degree in history.

Julia lived in New York City after graduation. She became a copywriter for a high-end home furnishing store. When her mother became ill a couple of years later, Julia returned to California. She worked in the Pasadena area for four years.

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, Julia decided it was time to help her country. She tried to enlist in the United States Women's Army Corps, but she was rejected. She was too tall. Instead, she took a job with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Julia worked in Washington, D.C., until 1944. She was a top secret researcher for the director of the OSS. Later, she worked to reduce the threat of U-boats, the deadly Nazi submarines. In 1944, she was assigned to work in Ceylon, which is now called Sri Lanka. It was there that Julia met Paul Cushing Child. They were married on September 1, 1946, in Pennsylvania, and settled in Washington, D.C.

Paul Child took a job with the United States Foreign Service. Paul introduced Julia to fine food that was much different from the food on which she had been brought up. Paul and Julia moved to Paris, France, in 1948. This assignment would change Julia's life. She became fascinated with French cooking. She entered the famous French cooking school, Le Cordon Bleu. She made friends with the chefs. She studied with others who were as anxious as she to learn all they could about the art of French cooking.

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