The man who claimed to be the sailor in a famous V-J Day image that inspired “The Kiss” statue in San Diego has died.
Glenn McDuffie, 86, claimed he was the sailor in the cuddle with a nurse in the famous World War II–era photograph captured by a Life magazine photographer.
A 25-foot statue, "Unconditional Surrender," honoring the iconic image stands near the Midway Museum on San Diego’s Embarcadero. It's a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike.
McDuffie died March 9 in a nursing home in Dallas, his daughter, Glenda Bell, told The Associated Press.
McDuffie's life became more exciting about six years ago when Houston Police Department forensic artist
Lois Gibson was able to identify him as the young man leaning over the woman in his arms to kiss her.
At the age of 18, McDuffie was changing trains in New York when he was told that Japan had surrendered. He was elated and ran into the streets along with everyone else.
Then he saw the nurse who saw him hollering and celebrating with a huge smile on his face. At that moment her went over to her, embraced and kissed her.
McDuffie and the nurse never spoke a word. They parted ways and he got back on the train to Brooklyn to meet his girlfriend.
The woman believed to be the nurse in the photo, Edith Shain, visited the statue in San Diego. She passed away in June 2010.
For years it bothered him that he wasn't identified as the man in the photo so he turned to Gibson for help and he wanted to do it before he died.
McDuffie is survived by his daughter and two grandchildren. His funeral will be held March 21 at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.