George Mendonsa was 95.

By Meghan Overdeep
February 19, 2019

The man featured in one of the most iconic photographs of the 20th Century has died.

George Mendonsa, the jubilant sailor photographed kissing a woman in Times Square at the end of World War II, passed away on Sunday. He was 95.

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

The famous photo shows Mendonsa (then 22) kissing Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental assistant in a nurse's uniform. Taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, the picture was first published in Life magazine. Its official title is "V-J Day in Times Square," though it is known to most as "The Kiss."

Mendonsa served on a destroyer during the war and was on leave when the end of the war was announced.

"The booze was flying, and I popped quite a few. We're all drinking and raising hell," he recalled to CNN in 2015. "So, we get into Times Square and the war ends and I see the nurse. I had a few drinks, and it was just plain instinct, I guess. I just grabbed her."

Thank you for your service and a photo we'll never forget, George!

Advertisement