CIA Spy Network Revealed

WASHINGTON — Before Julia Child became known to the world as a leading chef, she admitted to being impulsive when she applied for a job as a spy.

Child was an advertising manager at a furniture store in California, but clashed with new store managers and left her job abruptly.

In a handwritten note attached to her application to join the Office of Strategic Services, a World War II-era spy agency, the unmarried 28-year-old said she “made a tactical error and was out.” She said she wished she had been “older and more experienced” so that she “could have handled the situation.”

Child, who died in 2004, was hired in 1942 for clerical work with the OSS and later worked directly for Director William Donovan.

Details about Child’s background and nearly 24,000 other OSS employees are revealed in newly released documents by the National Archives, withheld from public view as classified records for decades by the CIA.