#RIP George Mendonsa. Many people don't realize there are two versions of the "Kissing Sailor" photo. One photo was taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life mag and is copyrighted. The other was taken at almost the exact same instant by a Navy photographer and is in the public domain pic.twitter.com/aMQJdvEzj3
— U.S. Naval Institute (@NavalInstitute) February 18, 2019
George Mendonsa, the man who’s believed to be the sailor shown in a famous photo kissing a woman in Times Square to celebrate the end of World War Two, has died. He was 95. The iconic photo was taken on August 14, 1945, which was known as V-J Day, when Japan surrendered to the U.S. As people celebrated in the street, Mendonsa kissed a woman in a nurse’s uniform who he didn’t know, and photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captured the image, which was first published in Life magazine.
The women is believed to have been a dental assistant named Greta Zimmer Friedman, who died in 2016 at age 92. Mendonsa said in 2015 that Friedman had reminded him of nurses on a hospital ship that he saw care for wounded soldiers, saying, “I saw what those nurses did that day and now back in Times Square the war ends, a few drinks, so I grabbed the nurse.” Friedman said in a 2005 interview that the kiss wasn’t what it appeared to be, explaining, “The guy just came over and kissed or grabbed. It was just somebody really celebrating. But it wasn’t a romantic event.”