(ABC4) – Oh baby! The Original Gerber Baby is celebrating her 95th birthday today.
Ann Turner Cook, a retired English teacher and mystery novelist, is the woman behind the iconic baby face that has been the Gerber’s mascot since 1928. Gerber posted well-wishes to her on their Facebook page.
Gerber originally held a contest for a new face to represent a baby food advertising campaign. Artist Dorothy Hope Smith submitted a charcoal sketch of a cherubic baby. Although many submissions came in, with some featuring elaborate oil paintings, judges fell in love with Smith’s simple sketch and chose it as the winner.
The image became so popular, Gerber made the image their official trademark in 1931. The image has graced every Gerber product and advertisement campaign since then.
At one point, a public poll was taken for folks to speculate on the Gerber baby’s identity. Many believed it was the baby picture of famous Hollywood actors at the time.
Interestingly, the baby’s identity was kept a secret until 1978. The artist was Cook’s neighbor and decided to make her adorable neighbor’s baby the star of her sketch. The rest is history.