Ann Turner Cook dies
TAMPA, FL – Ann Turner Cook, whose cherubic baby face was known worldwide as the original Gerber Baby, has died. She was 95 years old.
Gerber announced Cook’s death in an Instagram post on Friday.
Ann Turner Cook Dies at 95; Her Face Sold Baby Food by the Billions
“Many years before she became an extraordinary mother, teacher and writer, her smile and expressive curiosity captured hearts everywhere and will continue to live as an icon for all children,” the company said.
As a child, Mrs. Cook was in the right place at the right time. As an adult, however, for fear of ridicule over her long-standing role as Princess of the Mashed Pea, she did not reveal her identity for decades.
Ms Cook, who received no royalties for the use of her image, has profited precisely from that sum of $5,000 over a 90-year period.
That amount — a settlement she accepted from Gerber in 1951 — let her make the down payment on her first home.
Cook was 5 months old when a neighbor, artist Dorothy Hope Smith, drew a charcoal drawing of her that was later submitted to a competition that Gerber was organizing for a national baby food marketing campaign.
The image was so successful that it became a trademark of the company in 1931 and has been used in all packaging and advertising ever since.
In the late 1970s, Cook, who grew up to be an English teacher in Tampa, Florida, and later a mystery novelist, is revealed.
Ann Leslie Turner
Anne Leslie Turner, the daughter of Leslie and Bethel (Pearson) Turner, was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on November 20, 1926.
She spent her early childhood in nearby Westport, Conn. Colony: Anne’s father was a famous illustrator who painted the comic strips for “Wash Tubbs” and “Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune.”
Dorothy Hope Smith, a commercial illustrator specializing in children and infants, was a neighbor.
(Mrs. Smith, who died in 1955, also colorized dozens of New Yorker covers painted by her artist husband, Perry Barlow, who was partially colorblind.)
In 1928, the Gerber Company, a Michigan canning company that had introduced a range of baby foods that year, launched a call to use the image of a baby in its advertising campaigns.
Cook told the Associated Press in a 1998 interview that her mother told her when she was young that she was the child in the illustration.
She said, “If you’re going to be an icon of something, what could be more fun than a baby food icon?
As for the picture itself, she said: “All children like. The reason for the popularity of drawing is that the artist captured the attraction of all children ″