Geraldine Doyle died Sunday. She was 86. Doyle was just 17 when she took a job at a metal pressing plant near Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1942. She was there when a United Press International photographer came to the factory while documenting the contribution of women to the war effort. The picture of Doyle was later used by J. Howard Miller, a graphic artist at Westinghouse, for a poster aimed at deterring strikes and absenteeism.
The poster was not widely seen until the 1980’s when it was embraced by the feminist movement as a potent symbol of women’s empowerment. The image now graces a US postage stamp and has been used to sell lunch boxes, aprons, mugs, t-shirts and figurines.
Doyle didn’t realize she had a famous face until she was flipping through a magazine in 1982 and spotted a reproduction of the poster, her daughter told The New York Times.