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Mary Doyle Keefe
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Model
    (1923-April 21, 2015)
    Born in Arlington, Vermont
    Birth name was Mary Doyle
    Posed for Norman Rockwell's painting of 'Rosie the Riveter'
    Painting featured as the cover of the 'Saturday Evening Post' (May 29, 1943)
    She was actually a telephone operator and had never even seen a rivet gun before posing for the painting.
    Although the painting featured her face and red hair, Rosie's muscular figure was actually based on Michelangelo's painting of Isaiah on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
    Her 'Rosie the Riveter' was frequently confused with Geraldine Doyle's 'We Can Do It!' poster.
    She was married to Robert Keefe for 55 years.
    She was paid $10 to pose for a painting that later sold for $4.9 million.
    The 'Rosie the Riveter' painting was loaned to the Treasury Department for several War Bond drives.
    She had not considered posing for the painting a big deal since so many townspeople modeled for Rockwell. (For example, her uncle appeared in each of the 'Four Freedoms' paintings.)
    Rockwell wrote her a letter calling her the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and apologizing for the liberties he took in bulking her up. ('I did have to make you sort of a giant.')

Credit: C. Fishel


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