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14 August 2008

Julia Child was a WWII spy. "They served in an international spy ring managed by the Office of Strategic Services, an early version of the CIA created in World War II by President Franklin Roosevelt. The secret comes out Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008, all of the names and previously classified files identifying nearly 24,000 spies who formed the U.S.'s first centralized intelligence effort."
Julia Child's 2004 obituary, which is also fascinating.
posted by occhiblu 14 August | 13:16
There are no words for how awesome this is.
posted by kellydamnit 14 August | 13:39
I thought it was common knowledge that she was a former spy. I heard this at least 5 years ago.
posted by stynxno 14 August | 13:47
Yes .. it's not new information that she worked for the OSS. What's new is that old files have been released which give a lot of fascinating information about her and others who also served. She was so neat. I read the biography/autobiography she wrote with her nephew and it was great - a lot of fun to read. She was so smart but still so human and so willing to share her flaws and experiences. She sort of personifies the phrase "a great life well lived".

this is cool, occhi, thanks for posting!
posted by Kangaroo 14 August | 13:57
I thought it was common knowledge that she was a former spy. I heard this at least 5 years ago.

I was actually wondering about that. I feel like I had heard it, too, but the papers are presenting it as new info, so.... I dunno.

On preview: Ahh, Kangaroo, that makes sense. Thanks!
posted by occhiblu 14 August | 13:57
Yes, I also knew she worked for the OSS, but information on that agency has been so limited over the years that her role was often relegated to dismissive asides, like the one in the NYT obit article above "she applied to work for the OSS but wound up as a file clerk..." etc., which likely seriously downplays her involvement.

I think she made an excellent candidate for an agent in that era; a wealthy, well-travelled socialite with ties to France. Plus her personality was such that despite the fact that she was a very sharp woman, she's also kind of the last person you'd expect to be a spy. Which is pretty much the point, really.
posted by lonefrontranger 14 August | 14:08
I remember when they declassified the VENONA transcripts; they're truly edifying.
posted by Hugh Janus 14 August | 14:38
This is so fucking cool! I just sent this around to my foodie geeks.
posted by special-k 14 August | 14:58
This is so cool. I have read about the file clerk thing, but never knew that she was actually a spy. I love Julia Child.
posted by LoriFLA 14 August | 15:15
Yeah, this isn't "news" and was even mentioned numerous times on the blue. But I guess the files are news themselves. In any event she was just one of many people passing information to the OSS. It wasn't like she was a Pearl Cornioley.
posted by stilicho 14 August | 16:39
This has me concocting all kinds of culinarian Get Smart scenarios in my head. "We know your secret plans, Barön Vön Shnötrag!! The ladle was a microphone!" before slitting his throat with a potato peeler.
posted by jonmc 14 August | 18:34
wow. Jaw drops. Am amazed with this info. Had no idea.
posted by nickyskye 15 August | 00:35
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