HomeNewsAnn Turner Cook Dies Aged 95; Cause of Death Unknown

Ann Turner Cook Dies Aged 95; Cause of Death Unknown

Ann Turner Cook, an American educator and mystery novelist popularly known to the world as the original Gerber baby seen on baby food packages of the Gerber Products Company has passed away on 3rd June in St. Petersburg, Florida. She was 95.

Her death was confirmed by the New Jersey-based company on its official Instragam handle stating, “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 post added, “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. We extend our deepest sympathies to Ann’s family and to anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.”

What is the cause of her death?

The cause of the death of the original Gerber baby was not known at the time of writing this article.

Story Behind The Logo

According to their website, in 1928, her pic was shortlisted by Gerber as the face of a baby food advertising campaign which later on became the logo of the company in 1931.

Cook’s neighbor, an artist Dorothy Hope Smith, drew a charcoal sketch of her when she was five months old and submitted the sketch for a contest held by the company for its national marketing campaign for baby food.

Cook disclosed in an interview given to The Associated Press in 1998 that her mother informed her that she was the baby in the illustration when she was a toddler. She said, “If you’re going to be a symbol for something, what could be more pleasant than a symbol for baby food?”

Her identity was kept a secret for many decades until 1978. There was a poll conducted across the country to guess who was the original Gerber baby, with a wide variety of answers ranging from celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor to Bob Dole.

In 2013, Cook told CBS Sunday Morning, “I was probably about 3 years old when mother pointed at a baby food jar and said that was my picture. I thought it was quite a lovely thing. All babies are appealing. The reason that drawing has been so popular is the artist captured the appeal that all babies have.”

Early life and Education

Ann Leslie Turner was born in the year 1926 in Westport, Connecticut. Her family relocated to Orlando, Florida when she was a kid where she completed her elementary education.

Turner completed her bachelor’s in English from Southern Methodist University. She then enrolled for a master’s degree in English education from the University of South Florida.

Career

Turner started her career as a teacher at Oak Hill elementary school in Florida. She then joined the English Department of Tampa’s Hillsborough High School in 1966. She used to teach literature and creative writing.

One of her students described her as “a teacher who really communicates with the students” and who, “without any complaints . . . has stayed late, worked nights, and with quiet efficiency supported her staff in their monumental task”.

She became a Novelist post-retirement. She was a member of the Mystery Writers of America and author of the Brandy O’Bannon series of mystery novels set on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

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Archana Kabra
Archana Kabra is a Freelance Writer and has been extensively writing stuff related to Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Technology. She is also an ardent music lover. Twitter handle: @archana153sarda
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