Here's How Much Julia Child Was Worth

A wise woman once said, "Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it." And that's exactly what Julia Child did.

Julia Child (nee McWilliams) was born on August 15, 1912 in Pasadena, California. Born into a wealthy family, she and her two younger siblings enjoyed a privileged childhood. She attended Katherine Branson School for Girls in San Francisco, where she played on the golf and tennis teams. Julia was the tallest girl in her class, standing at a towering 6 feet, 2 inches. And her height certainly reflected her personality, as she was a known prankster and class clown.

She graduated from Smith College in 1934, where she studied to become a writer. Her first job out of college included working in the advertising department at a home furnishings company. She later volunteered as a research assistant for a government intelligence agency, a role in which she traveled the world (via Biography). While traveling in Sri Lanka, Julia began dating her coworker, a man named Paul Child. They married in September 1946, a year after World War II ended.

The Childs moved to France in 1948, when Paul was relocated to the U.S. Information Service at the American Embassy in Paris. Child instantly grew fond for French cuisine and enrolled in Cordon Bleu, one of the most prestigious cooking schools in the world. At the end of her training, Child joined classmates Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle and founded L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes – The School of the Three Hearty Eaters — in 1952 (via Biography).

How did Julia Child become the goddess of the kitchen with whom audiences fell in love?

The informal cooking school was held in Child's kitchen. Even after the school closed, Julia pinned the official patch to her blouse during her first television series.

Child, Beck, and Bertholle published a two-volume cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which is to this day a best seller among home cooks around the world. Child quickly became known for making French cuisine approachable to Americans, as its intricate preparation methods and lavish ingredients were intimidating to many (hello, beef bourguignon!). She was one of the first women to host her very own televised cooking show, The French Chef, on which she unpretentiously demonstrated how to prepare French cuisine (via National Women's History Museum).

In an effort to expand people's culinary skills and help inspire others to gain a better appreciation for various cuisines, she co-founded the American Institute of Wine and Food and created the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and Culinary Arts ("Julia Child made cooking fun").

Child passed away on August 13, 2004, two days shy of her 92nd birthday, due to complications from kidney failure, according to Today. At the time of her death, Child was worth $50 million (via Celebrity Net Worth).

She lived a life filled with many ups and downs, but she is forever remembered by her humorous presence, delightful talents, and of course, deliciously simple — and simply delicious — recipes. "Bon appétit!"