The Navy sailor whose kiss with a woman in Times Square celebrating the end of the Second World War was immortalized in one of the most iconic photos of the 20th century has died aged 95.
George Mendonsa fell and suffered a seizure on Sunday at the assisted living facility in Middletown, Rhode Island his daughter, Sharon Molleur, told The Providence Journal. He died two days before his 96th birthday.
Mendonsa was shown kissing Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental assistant in a nurse's uniform, in the photograph taken by Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt on August 14, 1945, known as V-J Day.
这张照片是由《Life》杂志的摄影师Alfred Eisenstaedt拍摄。照片上，Mendonsa正在亲吻着一名穿着护士服、名叫Greta Zimmer Friedman的牙医助手。这一天正好是1945年8月14日，也就是众所周知的胜利之日。
The image came to represent how jubilant Americans and people around the world felt after the Japanese surrendering, ending the war that had cost an estimated 70 to 85 million lives.
It wasn't until decades later that Mendonsa and Friedman were identified as the couple locking lips what became one of the most widely-recognized photographs of the World War II era.
'He was very proud of his service and the picture and what it stood for,' Molleur told NBC News. 'Always, for many, many years later, it was an important part of his life.'
Mendonsa and Friedman reunited for a CBS News segment in 2012 ahead of the 67th anniversary of V-J Day.
照片中的两人Mendonsa和 Friedman在2012年，胜利之日67周年纪念的前夕在CBS 新闻节目中重聚。
During that interview, Mendonsa revealed that he had been on a date with another woman named Rita Petryat Radio City Music Hall when news of the Japanese surrender was announced.
'They stopped the show and they said: "The war is over. The Japanese have surrendered,"' he recalled.
Mendonsa and his date, who would later become his wife, rushed to a nearby bar where the sailor admits he 'popped quite a few drinks'.
As they set on their way, Mendonsa spotted a woman in a nurse's uniform - he left Petry and rushed to grab her.
'The excitement of the war being over, plus I had a few drinks,' he told CBS. 'So when I saw the nurse, I grabbed her, and I kissed her.'
Friedman, who died aged 92 in 2016, interjected: 'I did not see him approaching, and before I know it, I was in this vice grip.'
Mendonsa didn't know about the photograph until more than three decades later, when Life magazine asked the couple to identify themselves in 1980 and one of his friends noticed it.
'This was 1980, 35 years after the war ended,' Mendonsa said. 'So he brought the magazine over to the house and, the minute I looked at it, I said: "Damn. That IS me!"'
'A lot of people want to know what I was thinking,' Petry told the New York Post in 2012. 'It was a happy day; I was grinning like an idiot. The kiss really didn't bother me at all. If I had been engaged, maybe.'
Petry insisted that she has never been mad that her future husband locked lips with another woman on their first date. However, she admitted: 'In all these years, George has never kissed me like that.'