Original Gerber Baby Ann Turner Cook Dies at 95

TAMPA, Fla. — Ann Turner Cook, whose cherubic baby face was known the world over as the original Gerber baby, has died. She was 95.

Gerber announced Cook’s passing in an Instagram post on Friday.

“Many years before becoming an extraordinary mother, teacher and writer, her smile and expressive curiosity captured hearts everywhere and will continue to live on as a symbol for all babies,” the company said.

Cook was just 5 months when Dorothy Hope Smith, an artist, sketched a charcoal portrait of her. The drawing was then submitted to Gerber’s contest for a campaign that would promote baby food nationally.

The image was a hit, so much so that it became the company’s trademark in 1931 and has been used in all packaging and advertising since.

The identity of the baby has been kept secret for decades. Rumours about it arose over the years, with some guesses like Elizabeth Taylor and Humphrey Bogart.

Cook was identified as the culprit in late 1970s. Cook was an English teacher from Tampa, Florida and later, a mystery author.

Cook said to The Associated Press, 1998 that her mother had once told her that she was the child in the illustration.

She said, “If you’re going to be a symbol for something, what could be more pleasant than a symbol for baby food?″

As for the image itself, she said, “All babies are appealing. The reason that drawing has been so popular is the artist captured the appeal that all babies have.″


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