(CNN) — Ann Turner Cook, the original Gerber Baby whose familiar face has been printed on thousands of products over generations, has died, the company announced on Instagram. Cook was 95.
“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,” Gerber said in a statement posted online.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to Ann’s family and to anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her,” it added.
A sketch of Cook’s baby face has been the iconic Gerber logo for more than 90 years.
It all started with a contest that the company held to find a face for a baby food advertising campaign, according to the Gerber website.
Dorothy Hope Smith, a neighbor of Cook’s family, turned in a charcoal sketch she had drawn of Cook and said she would finish it if she won, according to the site.
The judges of the contest “fell in love with the baby face,” and insisted that it remain a sketch.
“The image of this happy, healthy baby was soon to become the face that launched a brand, a face recognized and loved across the globe,” according to the company website.
But the baby’s identity remained a secret until 1978, the company said.
Cook went on to become a mystery novelist and an English teacher, according to Gerber.
“Mrs. Cook’s sparkling eyes and adorable, curious baby face still personify the Gerber brand, representing Gerber’s commitment to happy, healthy babies all over the world,” it added.
Gerber is best known for its baby foods and formulas, but it also sells children’s wear, life insurance and other products.
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