SIMSBURY, Conn., April 22 (UPI) -- Mary Doyle Keefe, the woman who served as the model for Norman Rockwell's "Rosie the Riveter" painting, died Tuesday in Connecticut. She was 92.
Contrary to the occupation of the iconic figure she portrayed, Keefe was not a riveter during World War II, she was a telephone operator.
She was 18 and living in Vermont when Rockwell paid her $10 to pose as the overall-clad figure, who sits eating her lunch with a riveting gun in her lap. The figure's foot is resting on a beat-up copy of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.
The Rosie the Riveter figure was a popular one in posters to encourage women to go to work to support the war effort and to sell war bonds. In post-war years, the images were used to promote women's rights.
Rockwell's painting appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1943.
In an interview last year, Keefe said she had no idea the painting would become so popular.
"No I didn't expect anything like this, but as the years went on, I realized that the painting was famous," she said.
The painting how hangs in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark.