Humphrey bogart gerber baby food

Humphrey Bogart Gerber Baby |

Claim:   The Gerber Baby is a likeness of Humphrey Bogart as an infant.

Status:   False.

Origins:   Humphrey Bogart

was not the model for the Gerber Baby, nor was the Gerber Baby drawn by Bogart’s mother, a commercial illustrator. A drawing of Humphrey as an infant was made by his mother and was used in advertisements for a different brand of baby food many years before Gerber was founded, however.

Bogart’s mother, Maud Humphrey Bogart, enjoyed a successful career as a commercial illustrator. As described by her grandson Stephen Bogart:

Her long career as an illustrator of calendars, greeting cards, fashion magazines, and more than 20 story books, and as a portrait painter of socialite children, flourished from the 1890s through the 1920s. She worked in the sentimental Victorian tradition, painting stylized cherubic children with round faces, chipmunk cheeks, curly blond ringlets, large eyes, button noses, rosy lips, frilly collars, and long white dresses. Her work promoted Prudential Insurance and Ivory soap, appeared on the covers of Harper’s and Century magazines, and was exhibited in New York and Boston.

And Maud Bogart did create and make good use of sketches of her baby Humphrey:

Maud made drawings of her chubby-cheeked, sparsely-thatched infant, who became famous when he appeared in a national advertising campaign for Mellin’s baby food. A celebrity soon after his birth as “the original Maud Humphrey baby,” Bogart said, “There was a period in American history when you couldn’t pick up a goddamed magazine without seeing my kisser in it.”

The connection here is obvious: Bogart’s mother was both a commercial artist and a portrait painter of children, her drawings of baby Humphrey were used in national advertisements for a brand of baby food, and Gerber is the most well-known brand of baby food in America. Mix these facts together, shake well, and you’ve got the makings of a baby food legend.

But Gerber did not begin marketing baby food until 1928, by which time Humphrey Bogart was nearly 30. When the company put out the call for baby face images to use in advertising campaigns for their newly-developed baby foods, they chose Ann Cook (née Turner) of Westport, Connecticut, the daughter of cartoonist Leslie Turner. A charcoal drawing of four-month-old Ann had been prepared and submitted to Gerber by her neighbor, a New England artist named Dorothy Hope Smith:

Cook was about 4 months old in 1927 when family friend Dorothy Hope Smith sketched the now-famous image in charcoal. Using a neighbor’s baby as a model wasn’t so unusual in the artist enclave of Westport, Conn., where they lived at the time, and nobody thought too much about it. Least of all Cook’s dad, who for

27 years

wrote and drew “Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy,” a daily comic strip that ran in

500 newspapers.

The next year, when Gerber put out the call for images that could be used in ads for its new baby-food products, Smith submitted the drawing, and the company bought it.

Ann Cook’s image began appearing on Gerber

products in 1928, and it became the company’s official trademark in 1931. The famous “Gerber baby” has appeared in every Gerber advertisement and on the packaging of every Gerber product ever since.

The identity (and even the sex) of the Gerber Baby has been the subject of much speculation over the years. The Humphrey Bogart tale has been the most prominent rumor, and more than a few woman have come forward and claimed to be “the” Gerber baby (or the mother of said baby) over the years as well. To settle any lingering identity and ownership issues, Gerber paid Cook a one-time cash settlement of $5,000 in 1951. (Dorothy Hope Smith was originally paid $300 for the rights to her drawing; neither she nor Cook were paid royalties for the use of the image.)

As an adult, Ann Cook raised four children of her own and taught literature and writing in Tampa, Florida,schools for 26 years. Since retiring from teaching in 1989, she has penned two mystery novels, Trace Their Shadows and Shadow Over Cedar Key.

Additional information:

      The Gerber Baby   (

Last updated:   9 August 2007



    Bogart, Stephen Humphrey.   Bogart:
In Search of My Father.

    New York: E P Dutton, 1995.   ISBN 0-525-93987-3   (pp. 7-8).

    Collister, Mary.   “She Had the Cutest Little Gerber Face.”

    St. Petersburg Times.   29 July 1992   (p. 3).
    Evertz, Mary.   “The Face Behind the Gerber Baby.”

    St. Petersburg Times.   14 March 1997   (p. D1).
    Meyers, Jeffrey.   Bogart: A Life in Hollywood.

    New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.   ISBN 0-395-77399-7   (p. 21).
    Morgan, Hal and Kerry Tucker.   Rumor!

    New York: Penguin Books, 1984.   ISBN 0-14-007036-2   (p. 71).
    Stacy, Mitch.   “Her Mug’s on the Jar.”

    Tallahassee Democrat.   9 February 2004.

Was Humphrey Bogart the Model for the Gerber Baby?

You are here: Home / Food History / Was Humphrey Bogart the Model for the Gerber Baby?

By EricT_CulinaryLore

Here is how it usually goes: Did you know that the Gerber Baby is actually a picture of Humphrey Bogart (or one of several other celebrities) when he was a baby? His mother drew it! Now that is fascinating. Humphrey Bogart is like the quintessential tough-guy, and he is the Gerber baby. Wow! His mother was a commercial artist. It makes sense. She got the job to design the Gerber trademark icon, and she just happened to have a model on hand: Little Humphrey!

This is the kind of story you wish were true. It has that kind of ironic balance we look for in our legends. It’s just a bit twisted, but also a bit darling. Too bad it is so easy to put to bed. Humphrey Bogart was one of the big screen’s main leading-men during the 1930’s and 40’s. He was born, however, on December 25, 1899.

The Gerber Baby started appearing in magazine advertisements in such publications as Good HousekeepingLadies’ Home JournalJournal of the American Dietetics Association, and Journal of the American Medical Association, in the late 1920’s. The baby became the official trademark of the company (then Fremont Canning Company), in 1931. Keep in mind that the company did not start making baby food until around 1927. So, the baby was first appeared around the same time that Bogart was a big movie star, not long after the first Gerber baby food went on the market.

The Gerber baby was actually first drawn by Dorothy Hope Smith and of course, it never had anything to do with Humphrey Bogart. By the time the baby was even conceived of (get it?), old Bogie was about to turn 30 years old.

Other Famous People Rumored To Be the Gerber Baby

Bogie is not the only famous actor or celebrity that has been thought to have been the Gerber Baby. People have believed it to be Elizabeth Taylor, Ernest Borgnine, and for a while, the rumor was that the baby was Senator Bob Doyle. And, according to the Gerber Company, Jane Seymour was also rumored to be the Gerber baby. Brooke Shields, as well, had her turn. This, at least, makes sense, since Brooke Shields was a child model, although she would had to have been over 70 years old at the time of the rumor since the Gerber baby never changed for over 85 years. The true identity of the baby was kept a secret by the company for many years.

Original Gerber Baby Drawing by Dorothy Hope Smith

Still, though, you can imagine the Gerber baby to be Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Seymour, or Brooke Shields and you’d be thinking, that’s interesting, but so what? These rumors are not very interesting, as urban legends go. But to take a guy with a macho, tough-guy image and place his super-cute baby visage on a bottle of baby food, and you have the best kind of urban legend, one with that sense of contrast, or ironic twist that so many urban myths have in common. The same thing goes for Bob Doyle, not exactly a gentle flower. Ernest Borgnine could do a lot more than play “the heavy” which he proved on numerous occasions, but it’s still pretty weird to imagine that the Gerber baby was him. With all three, could they really have been that darn cute?

Whose the Real Gerber Baby?

It turns out that the Gerbers ran a competition for the best drawing of the Gerber baby. Dorothy Hope Smith submitted a simple charcoal sketch while others submitted oil paintings and high quality portraits. Was the baby somebody famous to be? Yes. It was a cute little thing named Ann Turner Cook, who was born in 1926 and grew up to become a teacher and then later, a Mystery novelist. Her mother, Leslie Turner, was a comic strip artist, responsible for the Captain Easy comic strip. Dorothy Hope Smith was their neighbor.

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how the baby looks now from the packaging of baby food

The big-eyed baby from the logo of the famous Gerber brand is familiar to every mother and everyone who is not averse to pampering themselves with delicious baby food. But not many people realize that a pretty face is not an abstract drawing, but a portrait of a real child.

Today Ann Turner Cook is 92 years old, and the woman is very happy that she has become a symbol of childhood for several generations.

The first steps of the faceless Gerber

This story begins in the distant 1927, when Mrs. Dorothy Gerber, the wife of a cannery owner, got tired of hand-mixing their 7-month-old daughter Sally's weaning purees.

Mr. Daniel Frank Gerber listened to his wife's arguments: if it is possible to make tomato paste for adults, then why not produce ready-made baby food? As a result of research, changes in production technologies and testing, the cannery introduced the first 5 types of purees for children to the market.

Thanks to an effective and very expensive advertising campaign, Gerber's baby food has been successfully sold throughout America. All that was missing was the final touch - a logo with a twist that would make the brand even more recognizable.

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one Dorothy, surnamed Hope Smith, is an illustrator who became famous as the artist who drew the "Gerber baby". It was a simple black and white drawing, more like a charcoal sketch, modeled on a 5-month-old neighbor girl named Ann Turner.

The competition was huge, and Dorothy promised that if her sketch won, she would definitely improve it.

However, this was not necessary. The judging team probably consisted of experienced marketers who were captivated by the simplicity of the drawing and the magnetism of a childish innocent look.

Dorothy Hope Smith won $300 and sold her drawing rights to the owners of Gerber.

The adorable baby face became the official trademark of the baby food manufacturer at 1931 years old. Although millions of Americans were keenly interested in who was depicted on the logo, Ann Turner Cook remained in the background for many years and did not strive for fame.

What happened to the "Gerber baby"

According to the survey, fans of baby food tried to recognize someone famous in the drawing, for example, little Humphrey Bogart or Elizabeth Taylor.

Meanwhile, the real model showed a penchant for the humanities and took up teaching English, having received a master's degree in this field.

The woman who has become the face of one of the most recognizable brands in the US has devoted her life to children. Ann Turner Cook taught at elementary and high schools in Florida and was well-liked by her students for her thoughtfulness, kindness, and ability to listen.

As Ann admits, she knew from early childhood that it was her face that adorned the jars of the famous baby food. In 1978, Gerber revealed the secret of her logo, a woman appeared on a talk show and gave several interviews to Florida newspapers.

Ann Turner Cook no longer teaches today. After entering a well-deserved rest, the woman devoted herself to creativity and wrote a series of mystical novels.

She also participates in the selection of children for the next Gerber advertising campaigns. In 2018, that child was Lucas Warren, a one-year-old boy with Down syndrome.

November 20, 2018 Ann Turner Cook celebrated her 92nd birthday. This woman is still sweet and charming, she has great-grandchildren, grateful students, readers and fame, which she owes to a simple drawing.

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9 Gerbera Facts You Might Not Know


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As they say, Gerber has been dealing with babies since the 1920s. And, like so many other baby products, the little jars of strained baby food came about because the mother saw a need and knew that the right person could solve her problem. Read nine facts about Gerber and his famous face.


In the early 1900s, Fremont Canning Company, owned by grower Frank Daniel Gerber, sold cans of beans, peas, and fruit. Gerber's son, nicknamed Daniel Frank Gerber, went to work for his father's canning company in 1920. Daniel and his wife Dorothy had a young daughter, Sally, who became ill. Her pediatrician recommended feeding her pureed fruits and vegetables for a period, but the process of manually straining and mashing the peas was laborious and physically demanding, and Dorothy suggested that if Daniel's company equipment could mash tomatoes, they could do the same. the same for other products. Daniel agreed and worked on a more efficient way to feed his daughter.


Gerber's factory, circa 1940's. Wistan via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Daniel and his father Frank made trial batches of strained baby food and began selling it through the Fremont Canning Company in 1928. Products included strained peas, carrots, spinach and prunes. Baby food sold so well that Fremont Canning Company changed its name to Gerber Products Company in 1941 to focus solely on infant feeding.


1941 advertisement. Classic movie on Flickr // CCBY-NC 2.0.

Who is baby Gerber? The famous face began to appear on Gerber products in 1928 after an open competition to find a speaker. However, before the public knew the identity of the child in the Gerber logo, people assumed that the child had grown up to become a celebrity. Although rumors and urban legends were unfounded, people assumed that the Gerber child was a famous actor - Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart, Jane Seymour, or Brooke Shields (who is too young to be Gerber's child) have been mentioned. - or a politician like Bob Dole or Richard Nixon. Other people guessed that the Gerber baby grew up to be a porn star, but the most common assumption was that the baby was Sally Gerber, whose special diet inspired her parents to create baby food. After all, she was the first food tester!

hidden Disney characters in other Disney films

Thomas Hock via Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

In 1928, Dorothy Hope Smith, a commercial artist known for her baby portraits, entered a charcoal sketch of her neighbor's five-month-old baby in a Gerber logo contest. The baby, Ann Turner Cooke, later became an English teacher and mystery writer. Cook's recognizable face was on every Gerber product, but Gerber kept her identity a secret until 19.78 because the company wanted the baby to be a "normal baby" so parents of both boys and girls bought Gerber baby food.


In addition to baby food, Daniel Gerber expanded his business by selling children's accessories such as toys and dolls in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1967, Gerber began selling life insurance through the Gerber Life Insurance Company. Today, Gerber sells fruit juices, snack foods like cheese crackers and yogurt, and probiotic drops for colic, and the Gerber Life Insurance Company has more than two million active insurance policies.

Jay Lenos first and last guest

In 1955, Daniel Gerber appeared on Groucho Marx's TV quiz show. You bet your life to make an incredibly boring case for growing a business in Michigan - and then casually mention that he was president of Gerber Products. Gerber played along with Marx with a straight man and talked about the benefits of opening factories in Michigan by companies. Marks then told Gerber that his daughter was eating cans of Gerber baby food, and Marks joked that he, too, would start eating Gerber food soon because he was getting older and couldn't "chew solid foods anymore. "


In 1974, Gerber began marketing a promising new product: Gerber Singles. One serving baby food puree jars were intended for young unmarried adults, but Gerber Singles was an immediate failure. Unfortunately for Gerber, it turns out that single adults don't want to eat soft baby food for dinner when they're reminded that they're eating alone.


For almost 90 years, Ann Turner Cook's face has been synonymous with Gerber. While Cook's face is still featured on Gerber products, the company has been running an annual Gerber Baby Photo Search since 2010. In 2012, the pretty 8-month-old winner of the Gerber competition was scheduled to meet Cook in New York in addition to her $50,000 prize. .


Gerber cans in the 1970s. Roadside images via Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.

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