George Mendonsa, a World War II veteran whose claim of being a sailor kissing a nurse in an iconic image was verified using facial recognition technology, has died at the age of 95.
Mendonsa was living in an assisted living facility in Rhode Island, and had been suffering from severe congestive heart failure, his daughter Sharon Molleur told NBC News. He would have turned 96 on Tuesday, she added.
The photo has become one of the most enduring images of the 20th century. But when it was published in Life, there was no caption confirming the identities of the pair.
Over the decades, other sailors asserted that they were the mystery man in the photo, including a Texas veteran who used a police forensic artist in Houston to lay claim to the identity in 2007.
Mendonsa, however, didn't budge. He said besides remembering the exact moment of the kiss, physical indicators such as the man's large hands and the scar on the brow was evidence it was him.