- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 10, 2016

The woman who was iconically photographed being kissed by a sailor in Times Square near the end of World War II died this week in Virginia, her family confirmed. Greta Zimmer Friedman passed away Thursday following a long illness, her son told reporters. She was 92.

Joshua Friedman said his mother had been residing in an assisted living facility for the last two years and had developed health complications, CBS News reported Saturday. She had been ill for some time but had recently contracted pneumonia, her son told the New York Daily News.

On Aug. 14, 1945, the then-21-year-old dental assistant — not a nurse as was commonly believed — was captured on film during a sudden embrace with an American sailor as she walked midtown Manhattan amid reports Japan had surrendered days after the U.S. bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photograph, “V-J Day in Times Square,” was soon after published in Life magazine and has since become widely regarded as one of the most iconic images of the 20th century.

Friedman didn’t know the sailor, George Mendonsa, and the two weren’t reunited until several decades later. Mendonsa, 93, is now a retired fisherman living in Rhode Island, the Daily News reported.

“I did not see him approaching, and before I know it I was in this vice grip,” she told CBS News in 2012.

The accidental poster girl for the end of the war went on to marry Mischa Elliot Friedman in 1956 and raised two children in Maryland prior to his death in 1998. She’ll be buried alongside him at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, their son said. She’s also survived by a daughter and several grandchildren.

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