Listen to Rhode Island Public Radio’s Interview with Author Larry Verria

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Sailor in iconic photo identified as Middletown man

By FLO JONIC (2012-06-11)

PROVIDENCE, RI (RIPR) – It’s been a mystery for decades. But now two Rhode Island authors say they have unlocked the identity of the sailor who kissed a woman dressed in white in Times Square on August 14, 1945 – the day the surrender of Japan was announced. They’ve identified the sailor in the iconic photo as a Middletown man.

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Coronado’s George Galdorisi Helps Pen “The Kissing Sailor” – Coronado News

Corondo Eagle and Journal

–by David Axelson

Perhaps the most iconic image of the 20th Century was taken by “Life Magazine” photo journalist Alfred Eisenstaedt August 14, 1945 in Times Square in New York City. The occasion was V-J Day, or Victory over Japan Day, which ended World War II. Eisenstaedt’s subjects for the photo were a young sailor and a woman wearing a white uniform locked in an embrace.  Coronado author George Galdorisi (Capt. USN-Ret.), who along with co-author Larry Verria, has written a book entitled “The Kissing Sailor” which explores the identities of the couple depicted in the photo.

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This Kiss: ‘Kissing Sailor,’ ‘Lone Sailor’ Meet In Waterloo

The Kissing Sailor Statues


CEDAR FALLS — On Aug. 14, 1945, millions of Americans rejoiced at the end of World War II, but perhaps none more than U.S. Navy Sailor George Mendonsa.

Better known as “the Kissing Sailor,” Mendonsa’s moment of joy was captured by Life magazine and became a treasured piece of Americana.

On Tuesday, part of that history arrived in Waterloo.

As a part of the 2012 National Spirit of ’45 Day public awareness campaign, Robert Corpus and Chris “Woody” Woodall have been traveling across the U.S., making stops at museums and memorials to recognize those who sacrificed during World War II.

And they do not travel alone.

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Katy Perry and The Kissing Sailor: Life Imitates Art

Katy Perry The Kissing Sailor

As featured in ABC News national blog, singer Katy Perry re-enacted the photo with a midshipman she pulled onto stage in a recent concert at the United States Naval Academy. Read the full ABC News Story here.

Katy Perry had been sick, but that didn’t stop the singer from doing her patriotic duty and performing at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

In a video posted on YouTube, Perry, wearing a sailor-style halter top, skirt and a Navy cap, called midshipman Beasley up onstage for a kiss, but first asked him how old he was. When he replied that he was 20, she responded, “Is this legal? Well, I’m a little bit older than you, but that’s all right, I can be your Mrs. Robinson.” Perry was referring to the character in the movie “The Graduate,” in which an older woman seduces a college boy.

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The Wall Street Journal vs. The Kissing Sailor: Kissing Sailor 1, WSJ 0

Wall Steet Journal

Eric Felten did readers – and the Nation – a great service in his weekend piece “Embraceable Who?” in the May 19-20, 2012 Wall Street Journal.  His robust and well-written article called attention to the recent book, The Kissing Sailor by Larry Verria and George Galdorisi (Naval Institute Press, May 2012, $23.95, ISBN 978-1-61251-078-1).

One of the two most iconic photographs ever taken (the other being Joel Rosenberg’s picture of the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima) and far and away the most iconic photo ever taken by the father of American photojournalism, Alfred Eisenstaedt, and published in America’s photo magazine, LIFE, V-J Day, 1945, in Times Square has been the photo most Americans have grown up with.  It still adorns college dorm walls today, over 66 years after it was shot in the chaos of Times Square on that national day of jubilation.

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Motion Picture Act of Valor Out-Performs Battleship at the Box Office

Act of Valor Scene “Talks Act of Valor” with Banditos Brothers producer, Scott Waugh. Click here to read the full article.

Interview with Gretta Friedman, the Kissing Nurse

Gretta Friedman

Gretta Friedman, the nurse in the iconic WWII photo, has the chance to talk about her side of the story. Click here to read the full news report from the Washington DC ABC Affiliate.

Where Did Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor Land on the Charts?

Act of Valor

Now that Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor has been published for four months and the movie Act of Valor has been on the movie box office hits list for a full six weeks (debuting at #1 in its first week of release on February 28), it’s time to review the bidding: Reviewing events over the past four months in regards to the book and the movie can tell us a lot about American core values.

What are America’s core values? Politicians and pundits might disagree, but most influential strategic and military analysts agree that these values are captured in the document, A National Strategic Narrative, which highlights “our enduring national interests – prosperity and security” which is bounded by our “national values.”

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Early Excitement for The Kissing Sailor & a Peek Inside the Book

This Kissing Sailor Novel

As we reported last week, worldwide press coverage in advanced of the release of The Kissing Sailor has been intense.  There is good reason for this as it is a compelling story focused on “Five Ps: The Picture, the Place, the Publication, the People, and the Proof.

Here’s part of what renowned inaugural host of Good Morning American had to say about the book in his Foreword:

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The Kissing Sailor is Popular World Wide, Here are Various Looks into the New Book

Interview with The Kissing Sailor

The Kissing Sailor is gaining popularity, not just in the United States, but places as far as Chile and the UK.  This iconic post World War II photo captures everything that we as a country were feeling at that moment in time.  The identity of the kissing couple has been a mystery for 67 years, and now author George Galdorisi and co-author Lawrence Verrie have revealed the truth.  There have been approximately 5 candidates for the sailor, and about 3 for the nurse. Though, it all came down to forensic analysis to ensure that the real couple was identified. There is ample news coverage on the new book, “The Kissing Sailor”, and the story that details the search for the sailor and nurse in this historical photograph.

To read more about this amazing story we have listed below links to news coverage, interviews, and articles that will allow you to learn the story of, “The Kissing Sailor”.

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