Hello, Baby! The Original Gerber Baby Celebrates Her 90th Birthday

Ann Turner Cook was only four months old when a neighbor made a charcoal sketch of her chubby face.

She was only four months old when a neighbor made a charcoal sketch of her chubby little face.

Ann Turner Cook, with the big eyes and the puckered kisser, became the original Gerber baby in 1928, after the company announced a national search for an image to put on its new line of infant food.

On Sunday, she turned 90.

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“Doesn’t she look great!”  the company announced on its website.

Her visage, trademarked by the food maker in 1931, peered out from every piece of Gerber packaging.

Neighbor and artist Dorothy Hope Smith etched Cook’s baby face in 1926 and submitted it to Gerber’s contest about two years later, writing she would finish the drawing if was selected.

But the company liked it just the way it was.

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She has become an endearing, and ubiquitous, piece of Americana, but her identity wasn’t revealed by the company until the late 1970s.

In 2010, Gerber began holding annual photo contests for babies to represent the company’s brand.

Cook taught English literature and creative writing at public elementary and junior high schools in Florida. She has long claimed she never bragged about being the Gerber baby.

After she retired, she became a mystery writer and is the author of the Brandy O’Bannon series.

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