LOS ANGELES – It’s one of the most iconic images to emerge from World War II.

Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photograph of an anonymous young sailor in a dark-blue uniform dipping a white-uniformed nurse backward while giving her a long kiss in the middle of Times Square on Aug. 14, 1945, symbolized the euphoria surrounding the news that the Japanese had surrendered and the war was finally over.

Edith Shain, a retired Los Angeles elementary school teacher who claimed to be the mystery nurse in the photo seen by millions around the world, died of cancer Sunday at her home in Los Angeles, said her son, Michael. She was 91.

Shain was a married, 27-year-old part-time nurse in Manhattan when she joined the jubilant crowd in Times Square celebrating V-J Day.

“You can imagine how people felt. They were just elated,” Shain said in a 2005 interview with the Los Angeles Times. “Someone grabbed me and kissed me, and I let him because he fought for his country. I closed my eyes when I kissed him. I never saw him.”

Eisenstaedt’s photo ran in Life magazine the following week.