Whenever someone hear the name Gerber, a picture of the charcoal drawing adorable little Gerber baby face comes to mind. There is no escape for the Gerber baby face household brand. It’s the most popular brand for baby food in America. Before it was made public, there had been many speculations and under the impression that the baby was Sally Gerber and even Richard Nixon.
But the most popular guess was Humphrey Bogart, and there are good reasons for that. Maud Bogart the mother of Humphrey Bogart was a successful commercial illustrator. She did created many sketches of baby Humphrey and also many good use of it. So the connection is pretty obvious to most. But it wasn’t him.
If its not him then who is the real Gerber baby?
Gerber didn’t start marketing and advertising baby food until 1928 if so, then Humphrey Bogart was almost 30yrs old by this time.
Dorothy Hope Smith a neighbor of cartoonist Leslie Turner submitted a charcoal drawing of 4 months old Ann Cook, Turner’s daughter to Gerber not knowing the consequence of how big it’ll becomes.
Where they live it wasn’t uncommon to use a neighbors baby as a model for drawings, nobody think much of it. That little action went on you make Ann Cook famous when her image first started appearing on Gerber products in 1928. Then it went on to be the official Gerber’s trademark in 1931.
The fame of Ann Cook didn’t officially belong to her and lingering until 1951 when Gerber paid Cook a $5,000 one-time cash settlement. The real star was Ann Tuner Cook, the “original Gerber baby” that everyone wondering of.
Dorothy Hope Smith was paid $300 originally for the drawing, both her and Cook don’t get any royalties for the use of that famous Gerber baby image.
The Gerber contest went on to inspire many more Gerber baby contests. Do you think you have a Gerber baby? Learn more about the past Gerber baby contest winners.
Our Gerber baby turned 90 years old in 2016. Video below:
Gerber launched their first annual Gerber baby contest in 2010 in honored of Ann Cook. The grand prize winner walked away with $50,000 college fund. That quickly turned into $50,000 cash prize and with many extra. There are also milestone categories too. The Gerber photo search continues onto this very day.