TIME remembrance

Navy Vet in ‘V-J Day in Times Square’ Photo Dies

Times Square V-J Day Kiss
Alfred Eisenstaed—Time Life/Getty Images

Glenn McDuffie, who claimed to be the man featured in the iconic Alfred Eisenstaedt photo that embodied the spirit of celebration when Americans learned that Japan had surrendered in World War II, reportedly died at age 86

The Navy veteran who claimed to be the man in the 1945 photo of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square amid World War II victory celebrations died Sunday at 86, NBC News reports.

Glenn McDuffie, a gunner in the Navy for four years who later played semi-pro baseball and worked for the Postal Service, died of natural causes, his daughter told NBC News.

McDuffie is one of several people who have claimed to be the man in the Alfred Eisenstaedt photo originally published in LIFE Magazine. His claim was corroborated by a police forensic artist who matched his facial structure with the photo in 2007.

McDuffie said he was changing trains in New York when he learned that the war was over and his brother, held in a Japanese prison camp, would come home. He told the Associated Press years later that he ran into the street to celebrate when he saw the nurse and kissed her.

“We never spoke a word,” he said, according to NBC. “Afterward, I just went on the subway across the street and went to Brooklyn.” Edith Shain, who claimed to be the woman in the photograph, died in 2010.

[NBC News]

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