In 1928, the Gerber company, announced a contest. They wanted to find the perfect face to put on their new baby food, so they asked the public to send in images of their children. Dorothy Hope Smith sketched a charcoal drawing of her five month old neighbor and submitted it to the contest.
The drawing obviously won, and was trademarked in 1931. The image Smith drew is now completely iconic so they obviously chose the right picture! But who was the baby behind the picture?
Smith lived next door to cartoonist Leslie Turner. He was the the artist behind Captain Easy which was a syndicated comic strip in the newspaper. It ran for over 50 years until it was discontinued in 1988. He had three daughters, one of which was named Ann. Smith drew the photo of Ann when she was only five months old, but where is she now?
Ann Turner Cook has been the face of Gerber's baby food for the better part of a century, but she is now 91-years-old. Her identity was kept private until the 50th anniversary celebration in the 70s, but now people have been able to find out what she's been up to.
Cook attended the University of South Florida and earned several degrees. She received her master's degree in English Education and became a teacher. She taught in Florida for many years, but after she retired she decided to try something new.
Her retirement led her to take her passion for English in a new direction. She became a novelist and wrote a series of mystery novels. It is the Brandy O'Bannon series which have all been reviewed very positively.
At 91-years-old, Cook still looks great and is having fun with her new career. Could you imagine going to the grocery store and seeing your face on the jars of all the baby food? It must be so surreal!