Call it a nostalgic nod to the past, but I for one count the original Gerber baby as a national treasure.
Ann Turner Cook was just 4 months old when she was immortalized as the first ever Gerber baby. And immortal might be a fine word to use indeed – that very same lady turned 94 years old on Friday!
As per the company themselves, Gerber first ran a contest all the way back in 1928. The aim? To find a suitable baby to become the face of their baby food!
Naturally, the contest prompted a wave of entrants – most submitted in the form of oil paintings. Ann’s neighbor at the time happened to be Dorothy Hope Smith, a talented woman who specialized in children’s portraits.
Dorothy sent in a charcoal sketch of Ann, which, low and behold, was selected as the winner!
Ann’s face then first appeared on Gerber products that same year, and became the official trademark three years later in 1931.
In more recent times, in 2018, Gerber made headlines when it selected Lucas Warren to be its ‘Gerber baby’ from over 140,000 entrants. Lucas was the first ever baby with Down syndrome to feature in the role.
Then, earlier this May, more ground was broken, when the first adopted baby – a girl named Magnolia – was selected as the face of the brand.
As per reports, Ann Turner Cook worked as an English teacher for the majority of her life. It puts a smile on my face simply to see her still going strong!
Happy Birthday, Ann. Here’s to many happy returns!
Do you have fond memories of seeing the Gerber baby? Isn’t it just great that the original Gerber baby is still around!
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