Julia Child Net Worth: Career, Lifestyle & Death

Julia Child

An American author, cooking teacher, and TV personality, Julia Carolyn McWilliams, known professionally as Julia Child, had a net worth of $50 million.

Probably most famous in the culinary world, Child was the woman who brought French cuisine to the American public through her cookbook.

Similarly, she is also known for her notable TV program, The French Chef, which premiered in 1963.

Julia Child in her Kitchen
Julia Child in her Kitchen (Source: IMDb)

The television program garnered her an Emmy Award.

Similarly, Child was honored with a Knight of France’s Legion of Honor on 19 November 2000.

In 2003, she was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the president of the USA.

Julia Child | Quick Facts

Here are some quick facts about Julia Child:

Birth Name Julia Carolyn McWilliams
Professional Name Julia Child
Nick Name Julia, Carolyn
Birth Date August 15, 1912
Death Date August 13, 2004
Birth Place Pasadena, California, United States
Place of Death Montecito, California, United States
Height 1.88 m/6’2″/188 cm
Weight 74 kg/163 lbs
Body Measurement 35-25-35/90-66-90
Religion Not Known
Gender Female
Nationality American
Eye Color Brown
Hair Color Dark Brown
Profession Cook, TV Personality, Author
Father’s Name John McWilliams Jr.
Mother’s Name Julia Carolyn Weston
Siblings John McWilliams III, Dorothy D. McWilliams Cousins
Horoscope Leo
Ethnicity White
High School Westridge School, Polytechnic School, Princeton University, The Branson School, Le Cordon Bleu, Smith College
Sexual Orientation Straight
Spouses Paul Cushing Child (m. 1946-1994)
Children No Child
Career Beginning 1934-2004
Best Known For French Cuisine, The French Chef, Boeuf Bourguignon
First Book (1961) Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Awards Presidential Medal of Freedom, Peabody Award for Personal Award for The French Chef (1965), Emmy for Achievements in Educational Television (1966), Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Service Show Host for Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home (2001)
Merch My Life In France The French Chef With Julia Child,

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary Edition: A Cookbook

Last Update December 2023

Julia Child | Net Worth & Income

One of the greatest personalities in the culinary and TV world Julia Child had a net worth of $50 million when she died in 2004.

So how did the greatest celebrity chefs in history amass such a vast fortune?

Well, the answer is pretty clear.

Julia hosted The French Chef for a staggering ten seasons, starting from 1963 to 1973. Julia filmed the pilot of the show in 1962.

However, it was picked by a public TV station in Boston named WGHB the following year.

The French Chef
The French Chef (Source: PBS)

It all comes down to one point. How much money did Child make from the show?

Reportedly, Julia made just $50 per episode (around $450 in today’s dollars) for the first season of the show in 1963.

Cooking show back then was not mainstream as today, so Julia had to pay for the cost of the food and other stuff for each episode as opposed to shows today where the network provides for such stuff.

She also had to clean up her own kitchen.

However, Julia’s income increased as the show became more popular. Similarly, the show’s reruns also added a significant amount to her net worth.

Aside from TV shows, Julia published more than 16 cookbooks throughout her career, pilling up her net worth with sales and royalties.

Net Worth of Julia Child in Different Currencies

Here’s a look at Julia Child’s net worth in different currencies, including Bitcoin.

Currency Net Worth
Euro € 45.81 Million
Pound Sterling £ 38.23 Million
Australian Dollar A$ 66.30 Million
Canadian Dollar C$ 62.50 Million
Indian Rupee ₹ 3,797,167,500
Bitcoin ฿ 1,132.03

Julia Child | Houses

Julia, along with her husband, lived in France for some time, and upon returning to the states in 1956, they lived in a house in Washington DC.

The 1869 house was built by an Afro-American carpenter from West Virginia named Edgar Murphy.

Julia first renovated the kitchen. As she wrote in her book, “I decided I needed a new stove.”

Julia Child's Former Home
Julia Child’s Former Home (Source: The Real Deal)

Julia paid around $400 for a Garland model 182, which was a commercial gas with six burners and a steel griddle.

In 2021, Julia’s former 3,150 square feet three-bedroom, four-bathroom house was listed on the market for $3.5 million.

In 1959, the couple left DC and moved to a house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Julia lived in this house from 1961-to-2001.

Julia Child | Lifestyle & Death


Julia Child’s net worth as of December 2023 was a staggering $50 million when she died.

Despite being brought up in a family with a cook, Julia did not learn a thing about cooking from this person.

Child stood six foot two inches and played golf, tennis, and basketball as a youth.

She learned cooking after she met her husband-to-be, Paul.

She married Paul on September 1, 1946, in Lumberville, Pennsylvania, United States.

The couple met while Paul was posted in Kandy, Ceylon (a city in Sri Lanka) with the Office of Strategic Services.

Together they moved to DC, and after Paul was assigned to be an exhibits officer in Paris with the United States Foreign Service, the couple settled in France.

Julia took cooking classes while living in France. She attended Le Cordon Blew and graduated in 1951.

Julia Child and Her Husband Paul
Julia Child and Her Husband Paul (Source:
Tall Girl’s Guide to a Short Girl’s World – Tumblr)

After Paul retired in 1961, they moved back to the United States, and after living in DC for a while, they moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Paul died in 1994 in a nursing home in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Moving on, Julia was honored with numerous accolades for her contribution to culinary and television.

In 2000, Julia was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Similarly, the iconic celebrity chef received honorary doctorates from Johnson & Wales University in 1995, Brown College in 2000, Smith College, and Harvard University.

Likewise, the National Women’s Hall of Fame inducted her in 2007.

The lady had quite an impact on American households and housewives.

Technology in the 60s was not that great, and the show was uncut and unedited, causing her mistakes to appear in the final version. And interestingly, people loved the authenticity of her show.


Julia Child made her demise on August 13, 2004, in Montecito, California, due to kidney failure.

This happened just two days before her 92nd birthday.

Julia’s ashes were placed on the Neptune Memorial Reef near Key Biscayne, Florida.

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Julia Child | Charity

Child founded a non-profit, The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and Culinary Arts, in 1995.

It is a private foundation that makes grants to further her far-reaching life’s work.

After her passing, the foundation began making grants to other non-profits. Not to anyone’s surprise, but the foundation also has Julia Child Award.

One of the donation receivers is Heritage Radio Network which covers the world of drink, agriculture, and food.

Similarly, when Julia moved out of the Cambridge house, she donated the kitchen, and interestingly the kitchen still remains on view at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

Moreover, during the 1980s AIDS crisis, Child went from holding homophobic views to being a passionate activist, triggered by a close companion succumbing to AIDS.

Julia Child | TV Shows & Books

TV Shows

Julia appeared on a book review show on a Boston TV station, and she got her own TV series.

Her first show, The French Chef, premiered in 1963 on WGBH and ran 201 episodes over ten seasons.

Child became a fan favorite the moment her TV series was premiered in 1963.

She became a familiar part of American culture and also the subject of references, including parodies in TV shows and radio programs, and skits.

Her astounding success on-air may have been tied to her bracingly shrewd approach to the genre.

She later featured on shows such as Julia Child & Company, Julia Child & More Company, Dinner at Julia’s, and Cooking with Master Chefs: Hosted by Julia Child.

Similarly, In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs, Baking with Julia, and Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home starred Julia, which became equally successful.

In 1996, TV Guide ranked Child number 46 on their list of 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.

Meryl Streep on Julie and Julia
Meryl Streep on Julie and Julia (Source: Pinterest)

Furthermore, in 2009 film star Meryl Streep portrayed Julia Child in the biographical comedy-drama film Julie & Julia.


One of the most iconic chefs, Julia Child, has written more than 16 books.

After graduating from Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, Child studied with master chefs such as Mas Bugnars.

She also joined a women’s cooking club Le Cercle des Gourmettes.

While in the club, she met Simone Beck, who asked Julia to work on the American version of her book which she was writing along with her friend Louisette Bertholle.

The three began teaching cooking classes for American women in 1951. They later published Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1961.

Similarly, in 1970 Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two was released.

Likewise, some of Julia’s bestselling books include The French Chef Cookbook, Julia Child & Company, Julia’s Breakfasts, Lunches & Suppers, and Julia’s Menus For Special Occasions.

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Julia Child | Career

Julia was born Julia Carolyn McWilliams in Pasadena, California, on August 15, 1912.

She was born into a pretty well-off family.

Her father, John McWilliams, was a Princeton University alma mater and a land manager, and her mother was the daughter of the Massachusetts lieutenant governor.

She grew up with her younger brother John McWilliams and sister Dorothy.

Julia Child When She Was Young
Julia Child When She Was Young (Source: Pinterest)

Child went to a boarding school in Ross, California, and also attended Polytechnic School.

In 1934, she graduated with a major in history from Smith College, Massachusetts.

The late Julia moved to New York after college and took a job as a copywriter.

Unknown Facts About Julia Child

  • She worked as a shark repellant developer for the Navy.
  • Her last meal was French onion soup.
  • Interestingly, because of her height, she was rejected by WACs and WAVES.
  • It took Julia more than nine years to publish her first book.
  • She was a big fan of red meat and gin. In fact, she attributed her long life to gin and red meat.


What is Julia Child’s most famous recipe?

Child’s most famous dish is Boeuf Bourguignon. It is from the pages of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

What kind of butter did Julia Child use?

Julia Child preferred a French butter.

What does Julia Child say at the end of her show?

At the end of her every show, Julia said This is Julia Child, Bon appétit!

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