Rosie the Riveter Model for Iconic WW II Image Dies

4/22/2015 4:02 PM PDT
Breaking News

The woman who became Norman Rockwell's Rosie the Riveter -- the symbol of American women working on the home front during World War II -- has died at the age of 92.

Mary Doyle Keefe died Tuesday in Connecticut after a brief illness ... according to her daughter.

Keefe met Rockwell when she was 19-years-old and working as a telephone operator. She was paid $10 to pose for Rockwell's iconic painting ... which showed a woman with her sleeves rolled up, rivet gun on her lap, and eating a sandwich during a break.

The image debuted on the Saturday Evening Post in May 1943.

In real life, Keefe wasn't anywhere near as beefy and muscular as Rockwell's Rosie. He later apologized to Keefe for the image, saying he needed to make her "sort of a giant."

The painting was eventually used to sell war bonds -- and Beyonce even struck her own version of Rosie last summer on Instagram.