"Her smile and expressive curiosity captured hearts everywhere and will continue to live on as a symbol for all babies"
Ann Turner Cook, the original baby face that graced Gerber baby food jars for decades, has passed away at 95 years old.
Gerber took to Instagram last Friday to confirm the news of Turner's passing and paid tribute to her legacy on the social media platform.
"Gerber is deeply saddened by the passing of Ann Turner Cook, the original Gerber baby, whose face was sketched to become the iconic Gerber logo more than 90 years ago," the caption began. The post featured Cook's iconic sketch from her Gerber baby days as well as a photo of herself smiling as an older woman.
"Many years before becoming an extraordinary mother, teacher and writer, her smile and expressive curiosity captured hearts everywhere and will continue to live on as a symbol for all babies," the post continued. "We extend our deepest sympathies to Ann's family and to anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her 💙".
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According to the Associated Press, Cook was chosen to be the face of Gerber and their products after her neighbor had sketched her picture at five months old and submitted it in a national contest for the brand.
By 1931, her face had become Gerber’s official trademark.
Back in 1976, Cook spoke with People Magazine about her unconventional rise to fame and stated that, "It's not anything I did myself."
"I'm more proud of having earned my master's degree after 13 years as a housewife, of having worked my way up to chairman of the English department of a large high school, and of my 29-year marriage," she said.
The original Gerber baby added that she had raised all four of her children on Gerber food when they were babies.
As the winner of the 2022 photo contest, this year’s Gerber Spokesbaby will be Isa Slish of Edmond, Oklahoma. The little one will also serve as the Chief Growing Officer on the brand’s executive committee.
"We knew Isa was special, she has shown us that every day since she came into our lives," her mother Meredith Slish stated in a press release. "We found out when I was 18 weeks pregnant that Isa would be born without a femur or a fibula in her right leg."
"We hope Isa's story can bring more awareness for limb differences and create greater inclusion for children like her. Because, just like Isa, they too can be or do anything they want!" she said.
Gerber will also be matching Isa's cash prize of $25,000 to the nonprofit March of Dimes' maternal and infant health programs for the first time.