The very first Gerber baby is marking her 93rd birthday on Wednesday, Nov. 20, nine decades after she became the face of the iconic baby food brand.
In 1927, Ann Turner Cook was only four-months-old when family friend and artist Dorothy Hope Smith submitted a charcoal sketch of Cook's face to Gerber for an advertising campaign contest. Smith left it unfinished, but promised she'd do some refining to the sketch if the portrait was chosen.
But its judges fell in love with the portrait just as it was.
Gerber adopted it as its official trademark in 1931, and Cook's face soon became known around the globe as the brand ambassador, but her identity remained a secret until 1978.
My grandmother was the Gerber baby. It was a funny bit of trivia, never made her rich or got us free strained peas or anything. But last week she got to meet the company's newest spokesbaby, named Lucas. Pretty pretttty cute. pic.twitter.com/u7ddWaM1Ed
“I can’t think of anything nicer than being a symbol for babies and that’s what I think I became," Cook said in a 2014 interview with CBS News.
Now a widow in Tampa and a great-grandmother of three, the retired teacher and novelist is spending her time meeting other babies who have become the face of the brand.
Last summer, Cook posed with the 2018 Gerber baby, little Lucas Warren who made headlines after becoming the brand's first baby with Down syndrome. Unsurprisingly, the photo of the two quickly went viral and melted hearts around the globe.
Meet some adorable Gerber babies
Meet some adorable Gerber babies
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR GERBER - Ann Turner Cook, whose baby face launched the iconic Gerber logo, arrives at NBC’s Today Show to announce the winner of the 2012 Gerber Generation Photo Search on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in New York City. (Amy Sussman /AP Images for Gerber)
Ann Turner Cook holds sketch of Gerber Baby for which she was the model, photo on black
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. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR GERBER - Mary Jane Montoya, who had the winning photo in the 2012 Gerber Generation Photo Search, poses with her proud parents, Sara and Billy Montoya, and the original Gerber baby, Ann Turner Cook outside Today Show studios after the unveiling of her winning photo on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in New York City. (Amy Sussman /AP Images for Gerber)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR GERBER - Mary Jane Montoya, shown here with her proud parents Sara and Billy Montoya, of Fresno, California had the winning photo in the 2012 Gerber Generation Photo Search, announced on the Today Show, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in New York City. (Amy Sussman /AP Images for Gerber)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR GERBER - Sara and Billy Montoya appear outside the Today Show studios with their daughter Mary Jane Montoya whose photo was selected as the grand prize winner of the 2012 Gerber Generation Photo Search from more than 308,000 entries on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in New York City. (Amy Sussman /AP Images for Gerber)
TODAY -- Pictured: New Gerber Baby Kairi Vue on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)