Julie Powell, 'Julie and Julia' Writer, Dead at 49

Julie Powell was known for blogging her journey of making every recipe in Julia Child's 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking.'

Julie Powell, the food writer whose viral blog inspired a best-selling book and the 2009 film Julie and Julia, has died. She was 49. 

Powell passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at her home in Olivebridge in upstate New York. Her husband, Eric Powell, revealed the cause of death as cardiac arrest, according to the New York Times

Powell was known for her famous blog, the "Julie/Julia Project," which she launched in 2002, making her one of the pioneers of the medium at the time. On her blog on Salon.com—which reached over 400,000 page views at one pointPowell chronicled her journey of making all 524 recipes in Julia Child's famous book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking

The blog was eventually turned into a book of its own in 2005, entitled Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. In 2009, it was adapted into the 2009 film Julie and Julia, directed by Nora Ephron and starring Meryl Streep as Child and Amy Adams as Powell. 

Powell later went on to publish a second book, Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession, a darker memoir about her marital struggles, which didn't garner as much success as her first book. 

Her editor, Judy Clain, told the Times, "She had so much talent and emotional intelligence...I only wish she could have found the next thing." 

Following the news of Powell's death, many have taken to social media to remember her ever-living effect on the industry of food writing. Writer Jason Diamond tweeted on Tuesday, "Julie always seemed like a nice person and the Julie/Julia Project was really fun and it inspired a lot of people to at least try to start writing because the internet had some possibility. I'll miss talking to her on here. May her memory be a blessing." 

Deb Perelman of the blog "Smitten Kitchen" also tweeted, "I was shocked to learn this morning of the passing of Julie Powell, the original food blogger. Cooking through Julia Child's books, she made Child relevant to a new generation, and wrote about cooking in a fresh, conversational, this-is-my-real life tone that was rare back then." 

Dan Saltzstein, an old friend of Powell, also took to Twitter to express his condolences. "Terrible news. Julie and I had been friends since freshman year in college and though I hadn't seen her in a while, she always held a special spot in my heart. May her memory be a blessing. Lovely obit by @kimseverson and @juliamoskin." 

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