1955 October 25

Paul Child, Husband of Famous Chef, “Cleared” by FBI


Paul Child was the husband of Julia Child, who became famous as a celebrity chef in the 1960s with a popular television show and best-selling book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. In the 1950s, the Childs were in France, where Paul had a job with the U.S. State Department. Because one of their old friends was the subject of a loyalty investigation, Paul and Julia Child were also investigated. Paul Child was interrogated twice by the FBI in April 1955 and finally “cleared” on this day.

The episode was typical of the anti-Communist witch hunt during the Cold War, where people fell under suspicion and experienced possible loss of their job simply because a friend was suspected of disloyalty, with no evidence whatsoever of any illegal action such as spying on their part.

Read About the Childs’ “Loyalty” Problems: Jennet Conant, A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS (2011)

Watch Julia Child, the “French Chef,” at work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA2ys8C-lNk

Learn more about the FBI: Curt Gentry, J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets (1991)

Find some recipes: Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1st ed., 1961)

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