Ann Turner Cook Passed Away At The Age Of 95

Ann Turner Cook, the first Gerber baby, died on June 3, 2022, at the age of 95. The American corporation paid homage to Cook by sharing a photo of her on Instagram, saying it was “truly saddened” by her death and expressing sympathies to her family.

According to the post:

“‘Many years before she became an exceptional mother, teacher, and writer, her expressive curiosity won hearts worldwide and will live on as a symbol for all newborns.”

Cook’s visage has graced the brand’s packaging for nearly 90 years after a neighbor, Dorothy Hope Smith, gave her drawing to the business.

Who was Ann Turner Cook?

Ann Turner Cook is a well-known American novelist who is best known as the face of the Gerber Products Company. Many people are unaware that Cook is also a well-known mystery author, well known for her Brandy O’Bannon series. On November 20, 1926, she was born to cartoonist Leslie Turner. Turner created the Captain Easy comic strip. At the time, they resided in Westport, Connecticut.

Ann Turner Cook

When Gerber announced that it was searching for infant photos for its new range of baby items, Ann Turner Cook was just five months old. Dorothy Hope Smith, Cook’s neighbor, and artist, made a charcoal drawing that currently adorns Gerber goods. Cook attended junior high and high school in Orlando when the family relocated to Florida. She enrolled at the University of South Florida to complete her degree. At university, the author majored in education and English journalism. She went on to get a master’s degree in English education.

Cook began working as an elementary school teacher after finishing her studies. She worked at various Tampa primary schools, including Oak Hill and Madison Junior High. She joined the English department at Hillsborough High School in Tampa in 1966, where she taught literature and creative writing. Cook began writing after retirement and has written a series of books, including Trace Their Shadows (2001), Shadow over Cedar Key (2003), Homosassa Shadows (2005), and Micanopy in Shadow (2006). (2008).

The backstory of Cook’s famous sketch

Gerber chose to replace the “ABC” emblem with a child’s image for its newborn goods line in 1928. It ran an advertising campaign in which it asked consumers to contribute baby images. Smith drew a newborn Ann Turner Cook in charcoal and submitted it to the corporation, telling them that if she won, she would turn it into an oil painting. Gerber, on the other hand, liked the drawing so much that they chose to preserve it.

Ann Turner Cook


They began using the drawing for their packaging in 1989 but patented it in 1992. They subsequently acquired the sketch’s copyright in 1993. The original drawing is presently framed and stored at the company’s headquarters in Fremont, Michigan. Cook’s identity was similarly kept hidden for 40 years until being revealed in 1978.

Cook discussed her sentiments about becoming the Gerbers’ baby in a 2003 interview. She stated:

“When my mother pointed to a baby food jar and said, “That’s my picture,” I was probably around three years old. It struck me as a wonderful gesture.” “I can’t think of anything nicer than becoming a symbol for babies, and I think that’s what I became.”

Cook was also given enough money to purchase a modest home and vehicle from the corporation.

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