This past week, one of the subjects of the most iconic WWII photograph ever taken passed away.

WWII - kiss

WWII - kiss

Edith Shain, age 92, passed away at her home in Los Angeles on Sunday. 65 years ago, her embrace with a US sailor celebrating the end of World War Two became one of the most famous photos in history.

Shain was a nursing student in New York on August 14, 1945, when the surrender of the Japanese was announced. She made her way to Times Square to join in celebrations, where she let a man in a Navy uniform gather her up in his arms before giving her a kiss. The moment was captured by photographer Alfred Eisenstadt and later appeared in Life magazine.

According to the photog Eisenstadt, he had spotted a sailor walking through the crowd kissing every woman he saw.

“Then I noticed the nurse, standing in that enormous crowd. I focused on her, and just as I’d hoped, the sailor came along, grabbed the nurse, and bent down to kiss her. Now if this girl hadn’t been a nurse, if she’d been dressed dark clothes, I wouldn’t have had a picture.

“The contrast between her white dress and the sailor’s dark uniform gives the photograph its extra impact.”

Shain kept her identity a secret for decades, before she reached out to Eisenstadt in the 1970s to reveal herself. The identity of the sailor, however, remains a mystery.

Other women have claimed to be the woman in the nurse’s dress, but Shain was the only one recognized by Eisenstadt. Shain later took part in parades in Manhattan to mark the 50th and 60th anniversaries of V-J Day.

Edith worked as a kindergarten teacher and nurse for 30 years before she passed away.

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