Original Gerber baby celebrates 91st birthday

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The original Gerber baby, Ann Turner Cook, celebrated her 91st birthday on Monday.

In 1928, Cook was 4 months old and Gerber held a contest to find a face to represent a baby food advertising campaign, according to Gerber Life’s website.

Cook’s neighbor, Dorothy Hope Smith, was an artist and she entered a charcoaled sketch of Cook as a baby. Gerber officials loved the sketch so much that they selected it as the winner and trademarked the image in 1931.

“The logo is the essence of who we are,” said David Yates, vice president of Gerber’s North America operations. “It is the epitome of a happy, healthy baby and the symbol of trust we have with parents. It’s everything to our company.”

Gerber celebrated her birthday on Facebook Monday, accompanying their post with several pictures.

Since then, the sketch has appeared all over Gerber products. Cook’s identity remained a secret until 1978 when she participated in the company’s 50th-anniversary celebration, WFLA reports.

Cook, who was born in Tampa Bay, Florida, worked as an English teacher for most of her life.