Cooking up some secrets

Before she turned to the kitchen, Julia Child whipped up a little intrigue as a spy for the U.S. during World War II. Hired in the summer of 1942 for clerical work at the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a World War II-era spy agency, created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, she later worked directly for Director William Donovan.   According to previously top-secret records released by the National Archives on Thursday, Child was not yet married, and applied for the job at OSS under her maiden name, McWilliams, after she was rejected by the military as being too tall at 6 foot 2. It was there she met her soul mate and husband, Paul, who encouraged her to take up cooking after the war. Cloak and dagger details about her background and nearly 24,000 other OSS employees are revealed in the newly released 750,000 documents, withheld from public view as classified records for decades by the CIA. The 750,000 documents identify the vast spy network managed by the OSS, which later became the CIA, reports Associated Press. The OSS files offer details about other agents, including Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, major league catcher Moe Berg, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., film actor Sterling Hayden, John Hemingway, son of author Ernest Hemingway; Kermit Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt; and Miles Copeland, father of Stewart Copeland, drummer for the band The Police. Some of those on the list including Julia have been identified previously as having worked for the OSS, but their personnel records were not available before. Those records show why they were hired, jobs they were assigned and even missions they pursued while working for the agency. Most thought Julia's job was low-level clerical, but when she worked directly with Director Donovan, some of the most secret documents passed through her hands. I guess that secret life of intrigue is what accounted for the perpetual twinkle in Julia’s eye. CIA OSS page: Index to National Archives OSS personnel files: