11:35 AM PST, November 20, 2021
“A very happy birthday to the original Gerber baby, Ann Turner Cook! Ann, who turns 95 today, has graced Gerber products since 1928,” the company wrote on social media.
“Her image has inspired parents everywhere to share their babies’ photos with Gerber. Join us in wishing Ann a happy birthday and a wonderful year ahead!”
An artist named Dorothy Hope Smith entered the famous sketch of Cook into a contest to find a face for the company’s advertising campaign, according to the brand’s website.
The sketch was unfinished, but the company fell in love with it and kept it as is.
“The image of this happy, healthy baby was soon to become the face that launched a brand, a face recognized and loved across the globe,” Gerber wrote.
Even though the face was on all Gerber advertising and packaging from then on, the baby’s identity wasn’t revealed until 40 years later.
There was speculation over the years that the photo was a celebrity, like Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart, or even Bob Dole, but it was later revealed that it was retired English teacher Ann Turner Cook, Smith’s neighbor at the time.
“Mrs. Cook’s sparkling eyes and adorable, curious baby face still personify the Gerber brand, representing Gerber’s commitment to happy, healthy babies all over the world,” Gerber noted.