In 1928, the popular baby food brand, Gerber, adopted its iconic logo, the tousle-haired infant with bright eyes and a button nose. Nearly 100 years later, the logo remains unchanged. For decades, the beloved brand kept the identity of the little baby a secret. However, eventually, we learned that that iconic face belonged to Ann Turner Cook. Over decades, she has gone on to represent the brand’s values and roots. Sadly though, after nearly a century of representing the baby food brand, Turner Cook has passed away. A post from Gerber itself reveals she was 95 years old.
The company shared the news to Instagram on Friday, posting a photo of Turner Cook in her later years alongside the company logo’s original sketch. “The Original Gerber Baby,” Gerber captioned the photo.
In their post, the baby food brand wrote, “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.”
They sweetly continued, “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.”
Followers flocked to the comments to share tributes to Gerber’s beloved icon.
“She had the same cute eyes all her life,” one individual commented. “RIP.”
Plenty of others commented on the woman’s unchanged facial features, another follower writing, “she always had the same face!! May she Rest In Peace.”
The Story Behind the Iconic Gerber Baby
Ann Turner Cook’s journey to fame is unique to its age, with the longstanding logo having officially launched in 1931. According to Fox Business, the image that went on to become the official Gerber logo shows Turner Cook at just five months old. As per the outlet, the company held a contest in 1928 for a national marketing campaign for baby food.
As we know, Ann Turner Cook became the face of the world-renowned company. However, the sketch was actually completed by one of the woman’s neighbors at the time. Dorothy Hope Smith, the artist behind the brand’s iconic logo, initially completed the sketch in charcoal. She emphasized the raw, untainted nature of babies everywhere.
Interestingly, however, Turner Cook’s identity was kept secret for several decades following Smith’s submission. However, Fox states Cook’s mother told her the truth behind the logo when she was a little girl. She said, “If you’re going to be a symbol for something, what could be more pleasant than a symbol for baby food?”
Turner Cook said of the iconic image itself, “All babies are appealing. The reason that drawing has been so popular is the artist captured the appeal that all babies have.”
The original Gerber baby, beloved as an infant, went on to influence other young minds around her, growing up to become an English teacher and, later, a mystery novel writer.
Of the original Gerber baby, the company said, “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.”