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August 4, 2007

Forensics experts say Glenn McDuffie is 'Kissing Sailor'


A forensics expert has confirmed that Glenn McDuffie is the man now known as the "Kissing Sailor."  "The Kissing Sailor" has become famous for a photo taken in Times Square that became Life magazine's iconic photograph of the day World War II ended.


HOUSTON (AP) -- Glenn McDuffie has claimed for years that he was the sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square in Life magazine's iconic photograph of the day World War II ended.
If anyone just looked hard enough, he said, they would see that it was he in the shot.
Houston Police Department forensic artist Lois Gibson took up the challenge. And after what she called a detailed investigation, Gibson said she has concluded that McDuffie, 80, is the man in Alfred Eisenstaedt's Aug. 14, 1945, image.
The 2005 Guinness World Records said Gibson has helped police identify more suspects than any other forensic artist. For this investigation, she had McDuffie pose for new photographs in his sailor uniform, re-creating the famous pose with a pillow instead of a nurse. She measured his ears, facial bones, hairline, wrist, knuckles and hand and compared those with enlargements of Eisenstaedt's picture.
"I could tell just in general that, yes, it's him," said Gibson. "But I wanted to be able to tell other people, so I replicated the pose."
But Life magazine isn't convinced the Houston man is the sailor in the photo, the magazine's most reproduced image.
Because Eisenstaedt, who died in 1995, didn't identify the subjects of the photo, Life Books editorial director Robert Sullivan said the identities will officially remain a mystery.
Other men have purported to be the sailor in the picture and several women have claimed to be the nurse. Gibson compared some of the other men with Eisenstaedt's photo.
"All other people who have come forward, I have eliminated based on their facial bones," she said.
McDuffie, now battling lung cancer, said he was changing trains in New York when he was told that Japan had surrendered and World War II was over.
"I was so happy. I ran out in the street," said McDuffie, then 18 and on his way to visit his girlfriend in Brooklyn.
"And then I saw that nurse," he said. "She saw me hollering and with a big smile on my face. . . . I just went right to her and kissed her."


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