In honor of Shark Week, the CIA just dropped a story and a half about the American icon. (Who know the CIA had a Twitter account?) Photo/Art: CIA.
Julia Child: legendary American chef, author, and . . . CIA agent? Well, sort of. Back in 1942 at the age of 29 or 30, following a brief stint in copywriting and advertising after graduating from Smith College, Child (then Julia McWilliams) went to work as a typist for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which would go on to become the CIA. She had wanted to join the women’s Army Corps or the U.S. Navy’s WAVES, but towering at 6’2″, she was too tall to enlist.
At OSS HQ in Washington, D.C., she climbed the ladder fast. It seemed she had an early knack for complex concoctions, and the OSS recognized this. She went on to become a research assistant for Special Intelligence and assigned to work on developing a shark repellent, what was to become “Shark Chaser” (read more about that here). But at the time, rather than to protect soldiers, it was intended to keep curious sharks from detonating ordnances meant for blowing German U-Boats out of the water.