The woman who started it all by becoming one of the most recognizable baby faces in the world has passed away. In a statement released by Gerber on their Instagram, the company shared the heartbreaking news of Ann Turner Cook’s passing.
“Gerber is deeply saddened by the passing of Ann Turner Cook, the original Gerber baby, whose face was sketched to become the iconic Gerber logo more than 90 years ago,” the caption read, alongside pictures of Cook as an older woman next to her iconic sketch as the Gerber baby.
Ann Turner Cook, Original Gerber Baby and Novelist, Passes Away at the Age of 95
“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. We extend our deepest sympathies to Ann’s family and to anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.”
Cook was 95 years old at the time of her passing. In an interview from 1976, she told People that her fame is “not anything I did myself.” In fact, she told People that she is more proud of the accomplishments she made as an adult which included getting her Master’s degree after 13 years of being a housewife.
“I’m more proud of having earned my master’s degree after 13 years as a housewife, of having worked my way up to chairman of the English department of a large high school, and of my 29-year marriage.” And yes, while being the face of one of the largest baby food brands in the world may not have been her biggest accomplishment, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t loyal to the company that made her baby face famous.
As Cook told People, she fed all four of her children Gerber when they were just wee little ones. On Gerber’s website, the company revealed that for many years people all around speculated just who the original baby was.
“In a poll taken across the United States, people speculated as to the identity of the Gerber Baby,” the company wrote. “Guesses ranged from movie stars Humphrey Bogart and Elizabeth Taylor to Senator Bob Dole. Over the years there have been rumors of the actress Jane Seymour being the Gerber Baby.”
And for years, Cook admittedly kept her little secret. “Mystery novelist and retired English teacher Ann Turner Cook knew the correct answer, She is the Gerber Baby.”
“Dorothy Hope Smith, a neighbor of the Turner family, drew the portrait and after more than 85 years, 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.”
How cool is that?
Cook’s passing comes a little more than a month after Gerber revealed their 2022 Gerber baby. Baby Isa was named Gerber’s newest CGO. “Isa’s most important responsibility is to inspire joy, sharing happiness with a big smile, giggles, and her lovable personality,” the company explained.
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