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‘Kissing Sailor’ Photo Mystery Solved, According To New Book

Kissing Sailor

Alfred Eisenstaedt’s “Kissing Sailor” photograph is an iconic picture showing a sailor’s overjoyed reaction to the end of World War II. The snapshot in time shows the sailor and a nurse locked in a passionate kiss in the middle of Times Square. The identities of the photo’s subjects have never conformed, although dozens have claimed the title.

George Galdorisi and Lawrence Verria believe they have solved the decades-old mystery, and talk of it in their new book, “The Kissing Sailor.”

So, who do they believe is in the picture? They claim that the sailor is George Mendonsa, and the nurse is Greta Zimmer Friedman, both of whom are 89. Galrodisi explains that:

“We’ve proven this basically three different ways — through forensic analysis, through photographic interpretation and through some other technical means that these are the people.”

The two were part of a 1980 LIFE magazine article, which sought to confirm the identities of the kissing couple. They were photographed together, although Friedman reportedly would not re-enact the pose. Friedman is not the only woman to have claimed the title though. Another former nurse, Edith Shain, who passed away in 2010, claimed that a sailor grabbed her and kissed her as she headed home from her job at Doctor’s Hospital in New York City.

Galdorisi, who stands by the evidence given in the book he co-authored, states that:

“When you whittle it down to people with a pretty legitimate claim, there’s probably four or five candidates for the sailor and about three for the nurse.”

Alfred Eisenstaedt said of the iconic kiss that, “I saw a sailor running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight…I took exactly four pictures. It was done within a few seconds.”

Check out another man, Glenn Mcduffie, who claims to be the “kissing sailor” here:

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2 Responses to “‘Kissing Sailor’ Photo Mystery Solved, According To New Book”

  1. Pati Tyson Redmond

    I am so happy that the couple in the iconic photo of the Kissing Sailor has been identified! The sailor is George Mendonsa and the lady he kissed is Frederick's own Greta Friedman. I knew the truth since I have interviewed them both for the Vetrans History Project at the Library of Congress. A book, The Kissing Sailor, will be released May 15 explaining the proof and telling their stories.