The original Gerber baby, Ann Turner Cook, is thriving in her golden years after living quite an interesting life. The 95-year-old face of the famed baby food company has one of the world’s most recognizable baby pictures. It’s what she got up to after the well-known sketch of her infant self helped launch one of the longest-running companies in America that’s truly interesting.
The Origins Of The Gerber Baby
Ann Turner Cook was born on November 20, 1926. Her father, Leslie Turner, worked as a cartoonist and the family lived next door to Dorothy Hope Smith, an artist. In 1928, in response to a call from Gerber for baby images, Smith submitted a charcoal drawing she’d made of Cook.
The drawing was chosen and in 1931, Gerber trademarked the image. Though Smith had assured the baby food giant that she would make the sketch into a full oil painting after its selection, the judges adored the image of a cherubic cheeked and pursed-lip Cook.
The World Wonders About The Gerber Baby’s Identity
For a long time, until 1978, Cook’s identity as the original Gerber baby was kept a secret, which led to a lot of rumors about who the famed infant could be. A persisting rumor is that Brooke Shields was the Gerber baby, but the picture far outdates the famed actress.
A poll conducted before Cook’s identity was revealed had people guessing everyone from Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor, Senator Bob Dole to Jane Seymour. Even former president Richard Nixon was rumored to be the model for the iconic drawing. By the time the true Gerber baby, Cook, was revealed, she was in her early fifties and working as an English teacher in Florida.
Living Her Golden Years
After retiring from the teaching profession, Cook became a mystery novelist and published a series of books. She is currently retired and resides in Tampa, Florida where she recently celebrated her 95th birthday, an occasion that Gerber honored with a short, looping video on Instagram.
It warms our hearts to see Cook living her golden years in comfort. The sunny, Florida shores seem to be doing Cook wonders and she still has that bright, Gerber baby smile!