George Mendonsa Wiki, Biography, Age, Cause of Death, Kissing Sailor

George Mendonsa

George Mendonsa Wiki

George Mendonsa full name George Anthony Mendonsa was a US sailor famously photographed kissing a stranger in New York’s Times Square to celebrate the end of World War II.

After High School, George enlisted in the United States Navy. After boot camp he was assigned to the USS The Sullivans in the Pacific during WWII as a Quartermaster First Class.

After leaving the service, George became a commercial fisherman. He was an owner in Tallman & Mack Fish Company for over 50 years. His passion for fishing and the sea had him working until he was 82.

George Mendonsa Biography

George Mendonsa was born on 19 February 1923 and died on February 17th, 2019. She was a sailor who was captured in a famous photograph kissing a woman in Times Square amidst celebrations of the end of the second world war died on Sunday, February 17th, 2019 at the age 95.

George Mendonsa Born He was born on February 19th, 1923
George Mendonsa Died He died on February 17th, 2019 (Two days before his 96th Birthday)
George Mendonsa Wife Rita Petrie (m.1948-2019)
George Mendonsa Children Two children, a  son and a daughter, Sharon Molleur
George Mendonsa Known for  Photographed  kissing a woman in Times Square amidst celebrations of the end of the second world war

Mendonsa served onboard the destroyer The Sullivans during World War II, where he was part of the commissioning crew. He also participated in the commissioning ceremony of the newest rendition of The Sullivans, which is homeported in Mayport, Florida.

Mendonsa worked as a professional civilian sailor before the war in his Newport, Rhode Island-based family business, Mendonsa quickly rose to the rank of quartermaster 1st class.

He was at the helm of The Sullivans on May 11th, 1945, during the Battle of Okinawa, when his ship rescued 166 sailors who had gone overboard from the aircraft carrier Bunker Hill after two Kamikazes smashed into it within 30 seconds of each other.

The Sullivans returned to the United States for an overhaul in July 1945, and Mendonsa went home for 30 days of leave. He was on his way back to the ship and awaiting a train to the West Coast when the news of the Japanese surrender was announced.

Greta Friedman and George Mendonsa Photo ( V-J Day Photo)

On August 14th, 1945, known as V-J Day, the day Japan surrendered to the United States, people spilled into the New York City streets from restaurants, bars and movie theaters, celebrating the news.

The immortalized moment featuring Mendonsa on Victory over Japan Day is widely considered to be one of the iconic photos of the 20th century, a symbol of national relief and pure ecstasy. The kissing couple were strangers. The woman was Greta Friedman, a dental assistant wearing a nurse’s uniform.

“It was the moment,” Mendonsa told CBS News in 2012. “You come back from the Pacific and finally, the war ends.

“The excitement of the war being over, plus I had a few drinks. So when I saw the nurse, I grabbed her and I kissed her.”

Life Magazine’s photographer, Alfred Eisenstadt, captured the image, while Navy photographer Lt. Victor Jorgensen also caught the moment in a widely published variation. But neither photographer stopped to get the names of the sailor or the woman in the image

Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer Friedman, the other half of the brief romance, were proven in a 2005 forensic analysis by the Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories to be the pair in the image. Famous Pictures magazine noted that volunteers from the Naval War College identified him as the kisser. He’d maintained that his scars and tattoos proved it.

When he was honored at the Rhode Island State House in 2015, Mendonsa spoke about the famous kiss.

“I saw what those nurses did that day when we had the wounded on my ship and we put the wounded on the hospital ship. And of course, I saw what those nurses did that day and now back in Times Square the war ends, a few drinks, so I grabbed the nurse,” Mendonsa was reported to have said at the time.

George Mendonsa Age

He was born on February 19, 1923 in Newport. He died on February 17, 2019 aged 95.

George Mendonsa Family

He was born to the late Arsen and Maria Mendonsa. He was one of six children. His five siblings are Hilda Todd, Mary, Arsen, Manny and Able.

George Mendonsa Wife

George met his wife, Rita Mendonsa, in 1945 while on leave. They were married in October 1946.

George Mendonsa Children

He had two children, a son, Ronald Mendonsa and a daughter,  Sharon Molleur.

Cause of Death

He suffered a seizure and died after a fall. Mendonsa’s daughter, Sharon Molleur, said her father suffered a seizure and died on February 17, 2019 after a fall at a care home in Middleton, Rhode Island.