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Original 'Gerber baby,' Ann Turner Cook, dies at 95

The baby products company announced her death in an Instagram post.
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Ann Turner Cook, better known as the original Gerber baby, has died at 95, Gerber Products Company said on Instagram.

"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 company wrote in the Friday post.

Ann Turner Cook, center, better known as the original Gerber baby. Cook died Friday at 95.
Ann Turner Cook, center, with her mother and sister. Cliff Cook

"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," Gerber said.

The company extended its sympathies to Cook's family and those who knew her.

Cook’s son, Cliff Cook, said his mother was surrounded by family when she died early Friday.

She had fallen a couple of days before and been hospitalized, but her health declined, he said.

Cook said their family is grateful to have been able to spend time with their mother, whom he described as being active and engaged, and with a great sense of humor that she kept until the end.

Cook was 5 months old when artist Dorothy Hope Smith sketched her cherubic baby face in a charcoal drawing that was later submitted to a contest Gerber was holding for a national marketing campaign for baby food.

The image was such a big hit it became the company’s trademark in 1931. It has been used in all packaging and advertising since.

But the identity of the Gerber baby was kept secret during the following decades, sparking rumors and guesses that drove many to believe Humphrey Bogart and Elizabeth Taylor were the face in the highly recognizable logo.

It wasn't until the late 1970s that Cook was revealed to be the Gerber baby.

She had grown up to become an English teacher in Tampa, Florida, and later a mystery novelist.

Cliff Cook said his mother was always out in the community and left a large legacy as a teacher.

In addition to her son, Ann Cook is survived by daughters Jan Cook, Carol Cook Legarreta and Kathy Farzanegan; eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.