Julia Child is arguably the most well-known cookbook author in America. Child launched her impressive career in 1961 with the publication of her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking co-authored with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. The goal of the book was to make French cooking accessible to home cooks in America, and it was an unprecedented success. Its precise style and measurements changed the entire cookbook industry in the U.S., which had until then focused more on loose sketches of recipes. The success of the book as well as promotional television show appearances helped launch Child's career as a television cooking instructor.
Though people had cooked on TV before her, Child quickly became the most loved and well-known. Child went on to write seventeen more cookbooks, including The French Chef, The Way to Cook, and Julia's Kitchen Wisdom, as well as a successful autobiography, My Life in France. She continued to appear on television, starring in thirteen different cooking shows, spanning 1963 to 2000. Child passed away in 2004 at the age of 91, but her books continue to be published today, and her television shows still appear on public television stations. In an age of celebrity chefs, she is perhaps THE celebrity chef. Read on for more details about this beloved and enduring culinary powerhouse.