Ann Turner Cook, Original Gerber Baby, Dead at 95

Original Gerber Baby
Gerber / Instagram

Cook's face was sketched more than 90 years ago before the company adopted it as its official trademark.

Ann Turner Cook, the woman whose face as a young baby was sketched to become the iconic Gerber logo more than 90 years ago, has died. She was 95. 

The baby food and products company announced the news on Instagram, saying Gerber is deeply saddened by the passing of Ann Turner Cook. The cause of death was not disclosed.

"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's statement read in part. "We extend our deepest sympathies to Ann's family and to anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her."

Cook was born in 1926 and was just five months old when an artist named Dorothy Hope Smith sketched Cook's face using charcoal. Two years after her birth, Gerber's said to have held a contest in hopes of finding the literal face that would represent the brand in a new campaign. Smith would go on to enter the sketch that would ultimately become world famous.

The campaign was such a hit, the sketch would ultimately become the company's trademark in 1931, and it was used in all kinds of packaging and advertising.

According to CBS News, the baby's identity was kept under wraps, that is until 1978 after the company finally revealed the name. Prior to that, a poll was taken to guess the identity. Some of the guesses included Elizabeth Taylor and Bob Dole.

Cook would grow up to become an English teacher in Tampa, Florida, and later a mystery novelist. She told The Associated Press during a 1998 interview that her mother told her she was the famous baby sketched on Gerber's packaging.

Cook said, "If you're going to be a symbol for something, what could be more pleasant than a symbol for baby food?"

Cook also had an idea as to why the sketch would become such an iconic image.

"All babies are appealing," she explained. "The reason that drawing has been so popular is the artist captured the appeal that all babies have."