The woman believed to be the real Rosie the Riveter, a feminist icon and image of a generation, passed away on January 20th at the age of 96. Naomi Parker Fraley, the inspiration for the icon that inspired women around the nation, died peacefully in her sleep at an assisted-living center in Longview, Washington. She was one of millions of women across the United States who filled the labor force during the WWII. This woman, who fought for years to get recognition as the woman that the WWII motivational image was based on, will be remembered as a model for female empowerment and the growth of women’s roles in modern society for as long as time will allow. For more than 70 years, another woman was given credit as the face behind the image. “She didn’t think she did anything special,” said her daughter-in-law. “A lot of women did what she did. She just wanted her picture corrected.”
Interviewing Mrs. Fraley in 2016, The World-Herald asked her how it felt to be known publicly as Rosie the Riveter.
“Victory!” she cried. “Victory! Victory!”