14 Facts About James Beard

1. James Beard pioneered television cooking shows, taught at The James Beard Cooking School in New York City and Seaside, Oregon, and lectured widely.

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2. James Beard emphasized American cooking, prepared with fresh, wholesome, American ingredients, to a country just becoming aware of its own culinary heritage.

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3. James Beard taught and mentored generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts.

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4. James Beard published more than twenty books, and his memory is honored by his foundation's annual James Beard Awards.

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5. The family vacationed on the Pacific coast in Gearhart, Oregon, where James Beard was exposed to Pacific Northwest cuisine.

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6. At age three James Beard was bedridden with malaria, and the illness gave him time to focus on the food prepared by his mother and Jue-Let, the family's Chinese cook.

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7. James Beard was expelled for homosexuality in 1922, having had relationships with "one or more male students and a professor.

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8. James Beard spent time in Paris, where he experienced French cuisine at its bistros and central market, Les Halles.

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9. James Beard enlisted in the Army and was trained as a cryptographic specialist.

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10. James Beard continued to teach cooking to men and women for the next thirty years, both at his own schools, and around the country at women's clubs, other cooking schools, and civic groups.

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11. James Beard was a tireless traveler, bringing his message of good food, honestly prepared with fresh, wholesome, American ingredients, to a country just becoming aware of its own culinary heritage.

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12. James Beard was a big man, over six feet tall, with a big belly, and huge hands.

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13. James Beard died of heart failure on January 21, 1985, at his home in New York City at age 81.

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14. James Beard was cremated and his ashes scattered over the beach in Gearhart, Oregon, where he spent summers as a child.

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