Rosalind P. Walter, or “Rosie the Riveter”, who became the archetypal image for the brigade of women that kept factories going throughout WWII, has lost her life aged 95.
Rosie was one of the millions of women to take the traditionally-male job of driving rivets into fighter planes during the war, and her job as a riveter was only the beginning of her lifetime of contributions to the fight for women’s rights.
The New York Times reports that she went on to become a philanthropist and a major donor to organizations like PBS. She was also the largest individual supporter of New York’s WNET.
Allison Fox, WNET’s senior director for major gifts said that Ms. Walter had been drawn to public television in part to compensate for lost opportunities during the war, and even though she had sacrificed her chance to attend either Smith or Vassar College, public television documentaries and other programs helped fill in the gaps in her education.
Rosalind P. Walter was born in Brooklyn on June 24, 1924, and she grew up on Long Island’s North Shore. Her father was the chairmen of the company that helped mass produce the penicillin that was distributed to the troops during WWII, and her next source of wealth came from her second husband, Henry Glendon Walter Jr, who was the head of the International Flavors and Fragrances.
The iconic “We can do it” poster was inspired by Naomi Parker Fraley, who passed away in 2018.