Model for famed “Rosie the Riveter” painting dies at 92

Mary Doyle Keefe, who in 1943 as a 19-year-old telephone operator posed for what what would become Norman Rockwell’s iconic “Rosie the Riveter” painting, died this week at her home in Connecticut. She was 92. Keefe was paid $10 for two days of modeling and the painting eventually appeared on the cover of the May 29, 1943 edition of the Saturday Evening Post. She had no idea how Rockwell’s depiction of her looked until the painting appeared on the newspaper’s front page — and she was startled by the finished product, she recalled in interviews over the years. “Other than the red hair and my face, Norman Rockwell embellished Rosie’s body,” Keefe once said. The portrait went on to become symbolic of working American women during the period surrounding World War II.

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