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Real-Life Rosie the Riveter Dies at 96

The iconic WWII era poster, "We Can Do It!," came to symbolize the millions of women who filled America's factories during World War II. The famous image came to be revered as a representation of female empowerment. (Photo: Associated Press) 

Naomi Parker Fraley, the inspiration for the iconic female World War II factory worker Rosie the Riveter, has died. She was 96.

The Tulsa, Okla., native, who was born on August 26, 1921, died on Saturday in Longview, Wash., according to the New York Times. The California waitress-turned-factory-worker began her job at the Naval Air Station in Alameda and was among the first women to be assigned to the machine shop after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941.

In 1942, then-20-year-old Fraley posed for a photograph--wearing her signature red-and-white-polka-dot bandana and working on a turret lathe--for a photographer touring station, where she and younger sister Ada drilled and patched airplane wings as well as operated rivet machines.

Read more from the New York Times.


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