Sailor in iconic WWII photo ‘The Kiss’ dies

Eisenstaedt in Times Square on VJ Day in 1945 as Japan's surrender was being cleebrated

Eisenstaedt in Times Square on VJ Day in 1945 as Japan's surrender was being cleebrated

World War II veteran Mendonsa, originally of Newport, Rhode Island, died at age 95 Sunday.

Mendonsa's daughter, Sharon Molleur, said her father would have turned 96 on Tuesday and added that he never abandoned his claim that he was the man in the photo, according to NBC News.

Mr Mendonsa was shown kissing Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental assistant in a nurse's uniform, on August 14, 1945.

The iconic photograph later became known simply as The Kiss, and is often regarded as one of the most famous images of the 20th century.

It was years before Mendonsa and Friedman were confirmed to be the couple.

Critics of the photograph say it is symbolic of a time when men controlled women and that it even normalized sexual assault and rape culture. Friedman died in 2016 at the age of 92.

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Ms Friedman, who had been working as a dental assistant, said she had not been aware of the photo until the 1960s.

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When he was honoured at the Rhode Island State House in 2015, Mendonsa spoke about the kiss.

During an interview for the book, Mendonsa told Vierra that he was on leave in Manhattan when the end of the war was declared.

As the flawless strangers locked lips, world famous photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt snapped four pictures in just 10 seconds.

He previous explained how Ms Friedman, whose uniform was similar to those worn by nurses at the time, reminded him of women he saw care for wounded sailors on a hospital ship in the Pacific. Although it was widely lauded as an expression of the joy felt across the U.S. on the day Japan surrendered, in more recent times some have considered it, as Time Magazine wrote, "as little more than the documentation of a very public sexual assault".

"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", Mendonsa said, WPRI-TV reported.

"The guy just came over and kissed or grabbed", she told the Library of Congress at the time.

"I felt he was very strong, he was just holding me tight.It was just somebody really celebrating, but it wasn't a romantic event".

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