Your memories of Julia Child are probably based around her famous TV show. With over 200 episodes created over the decades, it’s no wonder that most of us imagine her standing over a kitchen counter surrounded by mixing bowls and cutting boards, ready to whip up a coq a vin or quiche Lorraine. But what you may not know about Child is that before becoming a famous chef she worked for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a precursor to today’s CIA. How much do you really know about former OSS officer Julia Child? Take our quiz to find out!


During WWII, Child searched for a way to serve her country. But after rejection from the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), she found herself instead working as a junior research assistant at the OSS.

While she hoped to eventually become a spy, Child’s work first involved typing. Later, she began working with the OSS Emergency Sea Rescue Equipment Section. She worked with officers who were developing a deterrent for an unlikely enemy.

After this, Child was posted overseas at Ceylon in what is now Sri Lanka. She had a Top Secret security clearance and handled every incoming and outgoing message posted.

Child eventually met her husband Paul Child, a fellow OSS officer, and moved with him to France where he was stationed. It was here that she developed her love of French cuisine, which turned into a passion she shared with the entire world through her iconic TV show.

While Child never reached her aspiration of actually becoming a spy, her work with the OSS as well as her cheerful, curious spirit earned her increasing responsibility and eventually a medal to honor her contributions.



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Brynn Mahnke is a freelance writer specializing in researching, writing, and ghostwriting for clients in the career, finance, SaaS, and B2B/B2C niches. She focuses on writing case studies, whitepapers, ebooks, and articles showcasing the value her clients bring to their customers. When she isn't writing, you can find her running, cycling, or wrangling children. She can be reached through her website or at