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Mary Doyle Keefe, Original Model for “Rosie the Riveter”, Has Passed Away at 92

The Mary Sue salutes you.


Mary Doyle Keefe, the model for Norman Rockwell’s original Rosie the Riveter painting that’s been inspiring women since 1943, has passed away at the age of 92.

Keefe was 19 when she posed for the painting, after having met Rockwell when she was working as a telephone operator in Arlington, VA, where she grew up. The painting first appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on May 29, 1943. She was a small woman, so Rockwell added to her arms and frame, making her seem a bit bigger and more like, well, a riveter.

However, what’s important is her strong, determined, take-no-crap face, which is really the most powerful thing in the painting, despite the fact that she’s got these huge muscles and is stomping on a copy of Mein Kampf. Of course, the painting became this iconic image that eventually was used on posters and various other things inspiring women to work on the homefront during WWII, then inspiring them to continue working and improving their lives long after.

Thank you, Ms. Keefe for being a symbol of inspiration for generations of American women. We here at The Mary Sue salute you:

WW Rosie

(via Fox News)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.