Home News Eisenstaedt’s Kissing Sailor dies at 95

Eisenstaedt’s Kissing Sailor dies at 95


Alfred Eisenstaedt’s kissing sailor has died at the age of 95. George Mendonsa was so overjoyed at the end of the war in Europe in 1945 that he stole a kiss in Times Square from a passing dental assistant who was wearing a nurse’s uniform. Captured by Alfred Eisenstadt, the resulting image is has become one of the most iconic shots of the 20th Century. And it was taken on a Leica.

Mendonsa was acknowledged as the sailor in the photographP only in 2012 when the US Naval Institute Press published a book, The Kissing Sailor by George Galdorisi and Lawrence Verria.

Since then, anyone in a sailor suit has been happy to pose for a re-run, as I discovered here at the Brooklands Military Day in 2014.

Not-so-accurate rerun at Brooklands in 2014 but there’s no doubting the enthusiasm (Image Mike Evans)

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  1. The difference between the two images – the top one, and original one was shot at time of emotional victory, of relief that war had ended and we were no longer under threat. Thus is carries a more emotional feel captured in that single moment.

    What I find sad about this image, is that in recent years it has been picked over by people suggesting it was potentially sexual assault, and a variety of other modern inventions. Lets be honest now of us younger generations know what its like to survive a war, in reality.


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