Ann Cook was the face of Gerber for nearly 100 years.
Not many people can say that their face has been seen by, and in the homes of, thousand of people– but Ann Cook could. Cook was the original Gerber baby, and her sweet face was plastered on products for nearly 100 years. Unfortunately, she has passed away at the age of 95.
On June 3, the brand shared a heartfelt message about Ann on their Instagram page. They wrote to their 500,000 followers, “Gerber is deeply saddened by the passing of Ann Turner Cook, the original Gerber baby…”
They continued by shedding light on who Ann grew to be amid being their logo. “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,” they stated.
The company, founded in 1927, also extended its condolences to her entire family along with anyone who was graced with her presence.
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The story of how Ann’s logo came to be is quite entertaining. In 1928, Gerber was on the search for a baby to be at the forefront of their baby food campaign, and they decided to create a contest encouraging people to participate. Ann’s neighbor, Dorothy Hope Smith, submitted a half-done charcoal sketch, and assured Gerber that she would complete it if she had won– but there was no need.
Though she had finished the picture using oil paint, the brand had already fallen in love with the simple drawing. They ended up making it their official trademark in 1931, according to their website. It took them 40 years to reveal the identity of the baby, which they did in 1978– none other than Ann Turner Cook.
May she rest in peace.