Advertisement
V-J Day Kiss Sailor Died Associated Press/(Victor Jorgensen/U.S. Navy, File)
(Victor Jorgensen/U.S. Navy, File)

The ecstatic sailor shown kissing a woman in Times Square celebrating the end of World War II died Sunday. George Mendonsa was 95.

Mendonsa fell and had a seizure at the assisted living facility in Middletown, Rhode Island, where he lived with his wife of 70 years, his daughter, Sharon Molleur, told The Providence Journal.

Mendonsa was shown kissing Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental assistant in a nurse’s uniform, on Aug. 14, 1945. Known as V-J Day, it was the day Japan surrendered to the United States. People spilled into the New York City streets to celebrate the news.

Mendonsa planted a kiss on Friedman, whom he had never met.

FILE – In this Aug. 14, 1945 file photo provided by the U.S. Navy, a sailor and a woman kiss in New York’s Times Square, as people celebrate the end of World War II. The ecstatic sailor shown kissing a woman in Times Square celebrating the end of World War II has died. George Mendonsa was 95. It was years after the photo was taken that Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental assistant in a nurse’s uniform, were confirmed to be the couple. (Victor Jorgensen/U.S. Navy, File)

The photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt was first published in Life magazine and became one of the most famous photographs of the 20th century. It’s called “V-J Day in Times Square,” but is known to most as “The Kiss.”

Several people later claimed to be the kissing couple. It was years before Mendonsa and Friedman were confirmed to be the couple.

Mendonsa served on a destroyer during the war and was on leave when the end of the war was announced. He has said Friedman reminded him of nurses on a hospital ship that he saw care for wounded sailors.

Mendonsa died two days before his 96th birthday. The family has not yet made funeral arrangements.

Friedman fled Austria during the war as a 15-year-old girl. She died in 2016 at the age of 92 at a hospital in Richmond, Virginia, from complications of old age.

Watch: Texas Veteran Plays ‘Taps’ Every Night in Downtown Galveston to Honor Fellow Soldiers

Author placeholder image About the author:
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Our teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. We provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
View More Articles

Stories You Might Like