DID YOU KNOW?
The Gerber baby taught at Tampa's Hillsborough High School.

 

Ann Turner Cook (born 1928) is an American mystery novelist, who was the model for the familiar Gerber Baby artwork seen on baby-food packages of the Gerber Products Company. She is the daughter of syndicated cartoonist Leslie Turner, who drew the comic strip Captain Easy for decades. Their neighbor was the artist Dorothy Hope Smith, who did a charcoal drawing of Ann when she was five months old. In 1928, when Gerber announced it was looking for baby images for its upcoming line of baby food, Smith's drawing was submitted and subsequently chosen. It was trademarked in 1931. The drawing of Ann Turner Cook has been used on all Gerber baby food packaging since.

Cook was born in Connecticut, but is almost a Florida native. She attended junior high and high school in Orlando.

 

She attended the University of South Florida and other post-secondary schools, where, studying education and English journalism, she earned several degrees, including a master's degree in English Education. She is a sister in the sorority Pi Beta Phi.

Cook taught at one of Florida's several elementary schools named Oak Hill, and then at Madison Junior High School, in Tampa, Florida. In 1966, she joined the English Department of Tampa's Hillsborough High School, where she taught literature and creative writing. Students there dedicated the 1972 Hillsborean school yearbook to Cook, who sponsored the book. In it, students described her as "a teacher who really communicates with the students" and who, "without any complaints", "has stayed late, worked nights, and with quiet efficiency supported her staff in their monumental task".

After retiring from teaching, Cook became a novelist. A member of the Mystery Writers of America, she is the author of the Brandy O'Bannon series of mystery novels set on Florida's Gulf Coast. The adventures of Florida reporter and amateur sleuth O'Bannon are detailed in Trace Their Shadows (2001), Shadow over Cedar Key (2003), Homosassa Shadows (2005) and Micanopy in Shadow (2008).

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