Paul Cushing Child (1902 - 1994) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Montclair, Essex, New Jersey, United States
Death: Died in Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Cause of death: heart failure
Occupation: OSS, Foreign Service, poet, artist, food lover
Managed by: Ryan Callahan
Last Updated:
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About Paul Cushing Child

Julia: "Paul married me in spite of my cooking."

~ "TV's French chef taught us how to cook with panache." SFGate.com. 8/14/2004.

Paul was unlike the Western boys she hung around with in her large circle of friends in Southern California, unlike any of the men her friends married. In hearing about his life, she soon realized he had no religion, few family connections, and held the business world in disdain. He was an artist and raconteur, a black belt in jujitsu, who could mesmerize colleagues with his stories. He represented a world she ached to know, an intellectual and European world, typical of the OSS personnel (such as anthropologists Gregory Bateson and Cora DuBois) whom she had come to admire during the past year in India and China. When she described her Presbyterian-raised father, a man of business and prominent in the civic affairs of Pasadena, Paul realized how dissimilar she was to any woman he had ever loved, for they all, including a woman he had lived with for many years, were petite, dark, and sophisticated in dress and manner. In contrast, Paul found Julia youthful, but "tough-fibered" and "natural."

"It wasn't like lightning striking the barn on fire," Paul said of their meeting in India. "I just began to think, my God, this is a hell of a nice woman, sturdy, and funny withal. And responsible! I was filled with admiration for this classy dame." If love grew slowly with him, for her it was the coup de foudre, and she made immediate plans to learn to cook for him.

Obituary

Paul Child, Artist, Dies at 92 By WOLFGANG SAXON Published: May 14, 1994, The New York Times

Paul Child, a retired foreign-service officer, artist and husband of Julia Child, America's quintessential television chef, died on Thursday at the Fairlawn Nursing Home in Lexington, Mass. A longtime resident of Cambridge, he was 92.

He had been ill for a long time, a spokeswoman for Mrs. Child said.

Mr. Child was born in Montclair, N.J. He was educated at Boston Latin School and Columbia College. He soon moved to Paris and pursued his interest in art, working in such diverse media as drawing, etching, painting and woodcarving.

He then had a 20-year career as a tutor and teacher near Venice, at a private American school in France and the Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut. His subjects were painting, photography, English, French and judo, in which he was a black belt, fourth class.

He joined the Office of Strategic Services in World War II and was posted to Washington, India, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and China. His task was to design war rooms for American and British general staffs. Curiosity About Food

Mr. Child was heading a chart-making unit in Ceylon when he met Julia McWilliams, who also had become a member of the O.S.S., precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency. In China together, they sampled the restaurants of Chungking and Kunming and developed a shared curiosity about food. They were married in 1946.

After the war, he was assigned to the United States Information Agency, which sent them to Paris for nearly five years. There, Mrs. Child took up cooking in earnest. Mr. Child was also stationed in Marseilles, Bonn (where he became familiar with German wines) and Oslo. He retired from Government service in 1961.

The couple then settled in Cambridge, largely for its intellectual atmosphere, and Mr. Child collaborated with his wife in the design of her amply appointed kitchen. He became the master of the Childs' wine cellar and supplied photographs and illustrations for her cookbooks.

He was also a poet whose works celebrated Mrs. Child, his favorite subject. He had intended to live solely as an artist in retirement, but spent a good deal of time on her television show once the original "French Chef" went on the air in the winter of 1963.

Besides his wife, he is survived by many nieces and nephews.

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Paul Child's Timeline

1902
January 15, 1902
Montclair, Essex, New Jersey, United States
1946
September 1, 1946
Age 44
Lumberville, Bucks, Pennsylvania, United States
1994
May 12, 1994
Age 92
Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
????
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend