The Real-Life Inspiration for Rosie the Riveter Dies at 96

Photo: Stocksy/Alexey Kuzma
Chances are, you've seen the Rosie the Riveter poster about 100 times—and maybe even dressed up as her for Halloween, flexed biceps and all—but you might not have known the name of the woman who inspired the iconic poster until last year, when her identity was revealed. And now, feminist poster girl Naomi Parker Fraley has died at 96, the New York Times reports.

So, who exactly was Fraley? During World War II, she was a factory worker—the first woman to work at the Naval Air Station in Alameda, CA, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, in fact. Pretty adventurous for a small-town girl from Oklahoma. It was then, in 1942, that she posed for a photo that later inspired artist J. Howard Miller's work, ultimately becoming the a national symbol of feminism and strength.

Shortly after her identity was unearthed by a scholar, Fraley was interviewed by People magazine. “The women of this country these days need some icons,” she said at the time. “If they think I’m one, I’m happy about that.”

Speaking of icons, here are the moments that made "feminism" 2017's word of the year. Plus, eight awesome feminist pins to wear with pride.

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