Archive for Thursday, June 24, 2010

Edith Shain, nurse in iconic Times Square kissing photo, dies at 91

June 24, 2010


— It’s one of the most iconic images to emerge from World War II.

Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photograph of an anonymous young sailor in a dark-blue uniform dipping a white-uniformed nurse backward while giving her a long kiss in the middle of Times Square on Aug. 14, 1945, symbolized the euphoria surrounding the news that the Japanese had surrendered and the war was finally over.

Edith Shain, a retired Los Angeles elementary school teacher who claimed to be the mystery nurse in the photo seen by millions around the world, died of cancer Sunday at her home in Los Angeles, said her son, Michael. She was 91.

Shain was a married, 27-year-old part-time nurse at Doctors Hospital in Manhattan when she joined the jubilant crowd in Times Square celebrating V-J Day.

When Eisenstaedt’s photo ran in Life magazine the following week — he had neglected to get the names of his subjects, whose faces are obscured in the picture — Shain recognized herself but was too embarrassed to tell anyone it was her.


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