Mary Doyle Keefe, the woman who posed as Rosie the Riveter in Norman Rockwell's "Rosie the Riveter" World War II painting, has sadly died at age 92.
The model passed away at her Connecticut home on Tuesday, April 21 after battling a brief illness, her family confirmed.
At just 19-years-old, Mary — who worked as a telephone operator during WWII, not a riveter — was selected by Norman to model for his painting, which later landed on the 1943 cover of the 'Saturday Evening Post.' She was paid a mere $10 to appear in the iconic piece of artwork.
Mary as Rosie the Riveter in Norman's 1943 painting. (Photo Credit: R/R)
In a 2012 interview, she opened up about seeing herself as Rosie — a figure symbolizing the millions of women who went to work on the home front during wartime — for the first time.
"Other than the red hair and my face, Norman Rockwell embellished Rosie's body. I was much smaller than that and did not know how he was going to make me look until I saw the finished painting,” she said.
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More than 20 years after she posed for the painting, Norman wrote Mary to apologize for misrepresenting her size in the piece and making her body appear larger than it was in person.
"There was a war on, and you did what you could," she told the 'Hartford Courant of her decision to appear in the painting. "I didn't really make anything of it and didn't really see it or realize what would happen to that picture until it came out."
Our thoughts are with Mary's family during this difficult time.
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