Glenn McDuffie Dies: Supposed 'Kissing Soldier' in WWII Photo Was 86

Friday, 14 Mar 2014 06:04 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Glenn McDuffie, who claimed to be the man in the famous photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt of a pair kissing in Times Square on V-J Day, has died.

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McDuffie, 86, claimed to be the Navy sailor in the kissing photo that has come to signify the joy of Victory over Japan, known as V-J Day. Several men, though, have claimed to be the sailor, although McDuffie’s claim was backed up by a forensic artist who matched his facial structure.

“He ate it up!" his daughter, Glenda McDuffie Bell, told NBC News. "He loved the attention."

The photo, which ran in Life magazine, didn’t identify the couple, and the mystery likely will never be solved.

In 2005, NBC News ran a story about the numerous people who have claimed to be the participants. Along with McDuffie, ex-cop Carl Muscarello and fisherman George Mendonsa have claimed the kiss.

Although several women have said they were the kissing nurse, Eisenstaedt picked Edith Shain as the one he thought was in the picture. She identified Muscarello as the kisser, although she later said she couldn’t be sure.

Volunteers at the Naval War College scanned the photo and used 3-D technology to determine that Mendonsa was the kisser, NBC said.

NBC quoted an Associated Press story in which McDuffie told the news organization that he was changing trains in New York when he heard the war was over.

“I was so happy. I ran out in the street,” McDuffie told the AP. “And then I saw that nurse. She saw me hollering and with a big smile on my face ... I just went right to her and kissed her.

The New York Daily News said McDuffie had been suffering from cancer. He died near Dallas, Texas.

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