- The woman kissed by a sailor in the iconic World War II photo has passed away
- Greta Friedman, 92, died due to complications of old age
- Friedman and sailor George Mendonsa were photographed kissing in celebration of the end of the war
The woman in the iconic photo taken during the end of the World War II has passed away. She was 92.
Greta Friedman, the woman wearing a nurse outfit and who was kissed by a sailor in a popular black and white photo, died of complications due to old age.
Her son Joshua Friedman confirmed her demise on Thursday, September 8. The younger Friedman also disclosed that his mother had been admitted in an assisted living facility for two years.
Friedman came into the spotlight when she and sailor George Mendonsa were photographed kissing at the New York Times Square.
Interestingly, she and Mendonsa did not know each other. In fact, Mendonsa was on a date that fateful day of August 14, 1945. His date was Rita Pery, who was at the back of the photo, and also his eventual wife.
He was overjoyed of the news that the Japanese has surrendered to the United States and that the war is over. He then grabbed Friedman, who was, at the time, a 20-year-old dental assistant, and kissed her.
“The excitement of the war bein’ over, plus I had a few drinks, so when I saw the nurse I grabbed her, and I kissed her,” Mendonsa said in a previous CBS interview.
With the right timing, photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captured one of the most iconic pictures of the 20th century. It was published in Life magazine at the time and was eternalized in the book “The Kissing Sailor: The Mystery Behind the Photo that Ended World War II.”
They went their separate ways, not formally meeting again until 1980, when Life magazine asked the previously unknown pair to step forward.
Since they kissed, the two have never actually met again until 1980, as per a CBS story. That was during the time when Life magazine launched the search for the unknown pair,
A friend of Mendonsa recognized the sailor to be him, and seeing the magazine which featured the remarkable photo, he had reportedly exclaimed: “‘Damn. That IS me!”
35 years had passed and it was the first time he saw the pictures.
Friedman, on the other hand, had no trouble recognizing herself on Life magazine; remarking, “You don’t forget this guy grabbing you!”
In 2012, they were again reunited; this time by CBS News at the very spot where they kissed.
Let’s take a look at more photos in this video: