Meet the Gerber Baby, 87 years later - FOX 13 News

Meet the Gerber Baby, 87 years later

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Ann Cook now, and then (insert courtesy Gerber) Ann Cook now, and then (insert courtesy Gerber)
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The most famous face in baby food, the Gerber Baby, is now 87 years old -- and still smiling.

"I was a happy, healthy baby and I think that's why the drawing has been so appealing to people. Because everybody wants their baby to be happy, healthy looking."

Her name is Ann Turner Cook and her portrait was drawn in 1927 by a friend of her father, who started by filming her.

"And she'd freeze the action when she wanted to catch an expression," Cook explained. "She caught the expression she wanted."

The expression that became the Gerber icon.

"The simplicity of the sketch, I think, appealed to them and it's appealed to an awful lot of people ever since."

Cook says that, years ago, Gerber wanted to keep her a secret so no one would know if the Gerber baby was a girl or a boy. But when she became a teacher, the secret got out.

"Of course the students knew," she said, insisting, "I didn't tell them."

So teaching high school English, she began every year by answering every question every student had about the baby that everyone knew.

"And then I would say, 'Now we won't talk about this anymore' because I didn't want it to monopolize the time I had with my students."

Nowadays she's free to talk about being the Gerber baby.

"I had four of my own," she continued. "There's nothing I'd rather be than associated with babies."

She has great-grandchildren now -- generations since the drawing that made her face famous forever.

"That's my immortality, yes," she laughed. "I've become a symbol for babies, which couldn't be anything nicer than that."

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