Geraldine Hoff Doyle, the Face of Rosie the Riveter, Passes at 86

Geraldine Hoff Doyle, the inspiration behind the now-iconic Rose the Riveter WWII poster, has died at age 86 in Michigan. Geraldine Hoff Doyle, AKA Rosie, the Riveter

The poster of a young woman in a factory uniform and red polka dot head kerchief, her arm flexed to show off her muscle with a speech balloon stating boldly, “We can do it!” was designed to encourage young woman to volunteer for the war effort while men were serving overseas.

Eventually 6 million women would heed the call and enter the workforce during the war years.

The image of Rosie the Riveter, itself inspired by a Norman Rockwell painting of the same name, became an instant classic and was later adopted by the women’s rights movements of the 1960s and 1970s.

There was also a 1942 song called “Rosie the Riveter” that paid homage to the women who worked during the war. Many women claimed to be the inspiration for Rosie and indeed there were film shorts and photographs that documented the phenomenon of women working on ballistics, airplanes and bombs.

Read the full article in the December 30, 2010 edition of the New York Daily News.

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (, writes daily at, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

4 thoughts on “Geraldine Hoff Doyle, the Face of Rosie the Riveter, Passes at 86”

  1. Rosie was an amazing and iconic symbol. Although I didn’t personally know her, I will join my friends in mourning her loss, however unfortunately delayed we are.

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