The "Rosie the Riveter" Model Has Died

Mary Doyle Keefe was 92.

(Image credit: Getty)

Mary Doyle Keefe, the model for Norman Rockwell's iconic Rosie the Riveter painting, died in Connecticut on Tuesday. She was 92.

According to the Associated Press (opens in new tab), Keefe posed for Rockwell when she was a 19-year-old telephone operator living in Vermont. Twenty-four years later, after the image appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, the artist wrote Keefe, calling her the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen and apologizing for exaggerating her shoulders and arms.

The painting—not to be confused with the more stylized, "We can do it" version—became a symbol of wartime resilience and the millions of American women who worked on the home front during World War II.

Keefe, who worked as a dental hygienist, is survived by her four children.

Knee, Sitting, Painting, Illustration, Poster, Drawing,

(Image credit: Getty)

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Chelsea Peng
Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.