The Gerber Baby Is Now An Adorable 91-Year-Old Great-Grandmother

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The woman whose face inspired the Gerber baby draw has opened up about what it has meant to be such an iconic symbol for nearly nine decades.

Ann Turner Cook, now 91, was just a few months old in 1928 when a charcoal sketch of her was selected in a contest to represent Gerber baby food.

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Little did she know just how important that drawing would be, both for the company and for her. ‘I can’t think of anything nicer than to be a symbol for babies,’ the retired English teacher told CBS News. ‘And that’s what I think I became.’

The original Gerber baby: Ann Turner Cook, now 91(right), was just a few months old in 1928 when a charcoal sketch of her (left) was selected in a contest to represent Gerber baby food.

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Relatable: She believes people identify with the sketch because ‘it reminds them of their own babies. Everybody says, my baby or my grandchild looks like the Gerber baby. And it doesn’t matter the ethnicity’.

CBS News

Mrs. Cook, now a great-grandmother, still has the same cheerful grin and sparkling eyes that she had as a baby when artist Dorothy Hope Smith, her neighbor in Connecticut, decided to sketch her.

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‘I always had that expression with my mouth hanging open,’ laughed Mrs. Cook. ‘Kind of a quizzical expression!’

She believes people have identified with the sketch for so many years because ‘it reminds them of their own babies. Everybody says, my baby or my grandchild looks like the Gerber baby. And it doesn’t matter the ethnicity. And I say, “Yes, I’m sure they do!”

‘I can’t think of anything nicer than to be a symbol for babies, and that’s what I think I became’

Soon after her drawing won the contest, it was featured on every Gerber product and became a symbol of the happy, healthy baby.

In 1931, Gerber trademarked the picture, and in the early 1950s the company paid her a lump sum – ‘enough to make a down payment on a modest house and to buy the first car,’ she says – for her role in the company.

Iconic: Soon after her drawing won the contest, it was featured on every Gerber product and became a symbol of the happy, healthy baby.

CBS News

The look of innocence: Mrs. Cook, now a great-grandmother, still has the same cheerful grin and sparkling eyes that she had as a baby.

CBS News

Looking back: ‘I always had that expression with my mouth hanging open,’ laughed Mrs. Cook. ‘Kind of a quizzical expression!’

CBS News

What do you think?

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