It was August 14, 1945 in Times Square of New York City. Word reached the city that Japan had surrendered to the Allies. World War II was finally over!
There was wild jubilation in the streets. Glenn Edward McDuffie, a sailor in the United States Navy, was in a celebratory mood. He grabbed ladies passing by and kissed them. One of them was Edith Shain, a nurse. Alfred Eisenstaedt, a photographer for Life magazine, spotted them and snapped a picture. This became one of the most famous photos of the war.
McDuffie and Shain went back to their lives. Shain continued nursing. She died in 2010 at the age of 91. McDuffie became a mail carrier and settled in Houston, Texas. In 2005, forensic expert Lois Gibson confirmed his claim to be the man in Eisenstaedt's photograph. McDuffie became a minor celebrity:
And so began a whirlwind lifestyle of going to air shows, gun shows, fundraisers and parties to tell his story. Women would pay $10 to take a picture kissing him on the cheek, Gibson said.
"He would make money and kiss women," Gibson said. "He had the most glamorous life of any 80 year old."
McDuffie has now passed on at the age of 86. May he rest in peace.
-via Nag on the Lake