Julia Child (August 15, 1912 - August 13, 2004) was an American chef, author, and television personality. She introduced French cuisine and cooking techniques to the American mainstream through her cookbooks, beginning in 1961 with Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her television programs, notably The French Chef which premiered in 1963.
Child was born Julia Carolyn McWilliams in Pasadena, California, a daughter of John McWilliams, Jr., a Princeton graduate and prominent land manager, and his wife, the former Julia Carolyn ("Caro") Weston, a paper-company heiress whose father, Byron Curtis Weston, served as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. The eldest of three children, she had a brother, John III (1914–2002), and a sister, Dorothy Dean (1917–2006).
She attended Westridge School, Polytechnic School from fourth grade to ninth grade and then The Branson School in Ross, California, which was at the time a boarding school. At six feet, two inches (1.88 m) tall, Child played tennis, golf, and basketball as a child and continued to play sports while attending Smith College, where she graduated in 1934 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.