Gerber products have been around for decades, and as popular as the brand is, the face on their product bottles has also become iconic. Those wide eyes and chubby cheeks are usually the first things that come to mind when you think of Gerber. And some people think the baby is just a mere illustration when in fact it’s not. During their 40th anniversary in 1978, Gerber unveiled the baby’s identity and revealed her to be Ann Turner Cook.
On November 20, 2015, Cook turned 89. Let’s explore how she came to be the Gerber baby.
It was in 1928, Gerber hosted a contest in the search for the perfect face for their new baby food campaign. One of the entries was a charcoal sketch of a baby with pursed lips made by artist Dorothy Hope Smith. Smith said it was an unfinished sketch that she intended to finish after winning the contest, but the Gerber executives loved the sketch as it is. They even trademark the artwork in 1931.
Speculations about the Gerber bay went on for years. Some thought the baby grew up to be Elizabeth Taylor, and even a politician, Senator Bob Dole. However, the baby was finally identified as Ann Turner Cook.
Now, Cook is enjoying her retirement after being an English teacher for 26 years. She also writes American mystery novels, such as her Brandy O’Bannon Series. She herself welcomed her first great-grandchild in 2014.