A niece says Julia Child died in her sleep this Friday morning "with family and friends and her kitten" around her.
The niece says the kitchen legend had been suffering from kidney failure. She died two days before her 92nd birthday.
Her publisher says Child "will be missed terribly."
The six-foot-two American folk hero was known to her fans as "Julia."
She brought French cuisine to the masses with public television lessons and cookbooks. In one of her books, she urged readers to "never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal."
She wasn't always tidy in the kitchen and sometimes dropped things or had trouble getting a cake out of its mold.