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Ann Turner Cook has graced the front of all Gerber products since 1928

By Rachel DeSantis
November 20, 2019 05:06 PM
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The original Gerber baby is all grown up ⁠— and celebrating her 93rd birthday!

Ann Turner Cook may not be a household name, but her face can certainly be found in most American households, as she’s the adorable, open-mouthed tot that graces all Gerber products and advertisements.

The company celebrated Cook’s birthday with a special Instagram post that featured the mystery novelist and retired teacher sitting in front of a jar of Gerber food.

“For over 90 years, it’s been our pleasure to welcome countless babies to our ever-growing Gerber family,” the post read. “Our dedication to each and every generation of little ones has long been part of our heritage, and we’ll always take time to celebrate a true classic!”

The classic charcoal sketch of baby Cook was submitted to Gerber as part of a contest in 1928 by her neighbor, artist Dorothy Hope Smith. It was trademarked three years later.

Smith said she’d finish the illustration if she won, but the judges loved the image as it was, and so it remained a sketch, according to the Gerber website.

The identity of the Gerber baby was kept under wraps for years, and was only revealed in the 1970s.

Cook spoke to PEOPLE about her unconventional fame in 1976, saying, “It’s not anything I did myself.”

Ann Turner Cook, the original Gerber baby turns 93
Ann Turner Cook

“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, adding that she used Gerber foods to feed all four of her children.

In 2018, Cook posed for a sweet photo with Lucas Warren, an 18-month-old who was the first Gerber baby with Down syndrome.

“She just loves babies,” her grandson Chris Colin told PEOPLE at the time. “She thinks of herself as sort of the face of babies. And because of this funny thing that happened, she gets to meet all these really wonderfully cute little babies in life.”