She might be the most famous baby in the world – and she just turned 90.
The baby food maker says Ann Taylor Cook celebrated her 90th birthday on Sunday.
Cook was about four months old in 1927 when her image was sketched in charcoal by a family friend.
The drawing was submitted to Gerber a year later when Gerber put out a call for images to be used in its new baby food advertisements. Cook’s picture became the company’s official trademark in 1931.
Ann Taylor Cook, poses at her Tampa home with a copy of her photo that is used on all Gerber baby food products
Cook’s big blue eyes, blond curls and slack-jawed expression became world famous
Cook, middle, said her mouth was always hanging open in a ‘quizzical’ expression, just like the one in the famous sketch. For years, rumors abounded that Liz Taylor was the Gerber baby
Cook became a mother of four and taught literature and writing in Tampa, Florida, for 26 years before retiring in 1989.
It took Taylor Cook over two decades to get paid for her iconic face.
In 1931, Gerber trademarked the picture, and in the early 1950s the company paid her a lump sum – ‘enough to make a down payment on a modest house and to buy a first car,’ she says – for her role in the company, according to CBS News.
CEO Marilyn Knox said there is ‘little doubt’ that Mrs Cook’s face played an instrumental role in the company’s success.
Cook, above, didn’t get paid until the 1950s, when she received a lump sum for contributing her face to make Gerber one of the most well-known companies in the world
‘You don’t even have to have the word Gerber on it. That face is honored as we’re doing the best for our child,’ she explained.
Indeed, the drawing adorns a flag at the company headquarters in Fremont, Michigan, and is etched in stone near the main entrance to the building.
Gerber kept Mrs Cook’s identity a secret until 1978, allowing myths to circulate that the sketch depicted Humphrey Bogart as a baby, or Elizabeth Taylor.
Dimpled and smiling Isla from Troy, Michigan was the winner of the 2015 Gerber baby contest – but no one has taken over the iconic status from Ann Taylor Cook
Gerber has yearly contests for its new baby and 2015’s winner was a dark-haired seven-month old Isla from Troy, Michigan.
Taylor Cook remains on all products, but the new babies get an ad and a $50,000 prize.
The hunt is currently on for the 2016-2017 Gerber baby.