Original Gerber Baby Is 90

No one knew Ann Taylor Cook was the Gerber baby until 1978
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 23, 2016 11:48 AM CST
Original Gerber Baby Is 90
FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2004, file photo, Ann Taylor Cook, poses at her Tampa, Fla., home with a copy of her photo that is used on all Gerber baby food products. Gerber says Cook turned 90 on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016.    (Chris O'Meara)

The original Gerber baby has turned 90. The baby food maker says Ann Taylor Cook celebrated her 90th birthday on Sunday. Cook was about 4 months old in 1927 when her image was sketched in charcoal by family friend Dorothy Hope Smith. The drawing was submitted to Gerber a year later when Gerber put out a call for images to be used in its new baby food advertisements, reports the AP.

Today reports that Smith explained in a note that if Gerber picked her entry she'd finish what was an uncompleted sketch, but the company thought it fit the bill. Cook's picture became the company's official trademark in 1931. Cook became a mother of four and taught literature and writing in Tampa, Florida, for 26 years before retiring in 1989. Her identity as the Gerber baby wasn't revealed until 1978, notes Today: Previous to that, Americans suspected Elizabeth Taylor or Jayne Seymour might have served as the model. (Read more Gerber stories.)

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