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Posted on Jan 1, 2011 in History News

Rosie the Riveter Dies

Gerald D. Swick

Eighty-six-year-old Geraldine Hoff Doyle died on the day after Christmas. While Mrs. Doyle’s name is unfamiliar to most Americans, a photo of her was the inspiration for an icon: "Rosie the Riveter." A photo taken by a UPI photographer, showing the diminutive, 17-year-old factory worker wearing a polka-dot bandanna and leaning over a machine, became the inspiration for J. Howard Miller’s famous "We Can Do It!" poster. Miller took some artistic license: the petite teenager didn’t have bulging muscles. She wasn’t a riveter, either. In fact, she quit the factory just days after the photo was taken; she was a cellist and feared the machinery might injure her hands, as she’d heard had happened to another woman in the factory.

Other women have also claimed to have been the inspiration for Rosie the Riveter.


Click here to read the full story in the Washington Post.

In 2009, Belgium became the first Allied nation of World War II to officially honor America’s "Rosies" in a ceremony held in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, a state that has an active program to identify and honor its daughters who worked as part of the war effort. Click here to view images of several Rosies as they appear today.

in 2000, then-President Bill Clinton signed a bill authorizing a Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Park to be built in Richmond, California.