Ann Turner Cook tells the story of how she became one of the most recognizable faces on grocery store shelves around the world. She is the original Gerber baby.
According to the Daily Mail, Cook, who recently turned 87, was just a few months old in 1928 when a charcoal sketch of her, done by artist Dorothy Hope Smith, was selected in a contest to find a face to represent Gerber baby food.
Cook says she is proud to have been associated with the company whose products are committed to being a leader in childhood nutrition.
She had no idea just how important that drawing would be, both for the company and for her.
“I can't think of anything nicer than to be a symbol for babies,” Cook told CBS News. “And that's what I think I became.”
She believes that millions have identified with the sketch for many years because “it reminds them of their own babies. Everybody says, my baby or my grandchild looks like the Gerber baby. And it doesn’t matter the ethnicity. And I say, ‘Yes, I’m sure they do!’”
The drawing was featured on every Gerber product and became a symbol for the happy, healthy baby after it won the contest.
Cook was given a lump sum in the 1950s after Gerber trademarked the iconic picture in 1931. She says it was enough to buy a car and make a down payment on a modest house.
Cook is now a retired English teacher and mystery writer who has written four books set in her favorite small Florida towns, Bay News 9 reported. She is also writing her memoirs, which will focus on her childhood, and describes living in Texas during the Dust Bowl.
But what does the original Gerber baby look like today? See for yourselves: