‘Rosie the Riveter’ Rosalind Walter, dies at age 95

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Combined ShapeCaption
Rosalind Walter, ‘Rosie the Riveter,’ dies at age 95

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

You may not know her name, but you know what she did for our country.

Rosalind Walter was the woman who inspired “Rosie the Riveter” before the “We Can Do It!" posters became popular during World War II.

Walter died Wednesday. She was 95, NBC News reported.

Walter worked nights riveting the metal to make Corsairs in Connecticut. She, and millions of other women, took the jobs left vacant when men went to fight.

A newspaper column featured Walter's story of leaving the home, putting on overalls and wrapping their hair in a bandanna to not only keep the factories in business but also make the much-needed equipment for the war effort, The New York Times reported.

The newspaper story inspired a song called "Rosie the Riveter" which then inspired the posters that are still popular to this day. And while it was another woman's face on the poster, the New York Times reported "Rosie" started with Walter.

A year after the end of World War II, she worked at Bellevue Hospital as a nurse’s aide where she met her first husband, Henry Thompson, a lieutenant with the Naval Reserve. They divorced in the ’50s.

She then married Henry Walter in 1956.

After the war was over, Walter still made a name for herself as a philanthropist, donating so much to PBS that her name was listed on shows like "Great Performances," "American Masters" and "PBS NewsHour," The New York Times reported.

She helped pay for 67 shows and series on WNET in New York, starting in 1978.

The same station announced her death Thursday, NBC News reported.

She helped PBS because the channel filled a void while she was working on the assembly line. She supported the war when she was only 19, NBC News reported. She wasn't able to attend a university, so she used the educational programs to help learn, the Times reported.

She and her husband donated to the American Museum of Natural History and other scholarships and libraries as well.

Walter, who went by Roz, not Rosie, was the story's inspiration, but the women who gave their faces were not her. Norman Rockwell used Mary Doyle Keefe as his model, the Times reported.

J. Howard Miller, who made the iconic “We Can Do It!” poster, is believed to have used Naomi Parker Fraley.

About the Author