obituary

Remembering ‘Rosie the Riveter' Phyllis Gould

NBC Universal, Inc.

One of the women who built ships in Richmond during World War II has passed away. The “Rosie the Riveter's” real name was Phyllis Gould. 

Her service to the country did not stop when the war was over. In 1991, Phyllis decided that the millions of women who worked stateside for the war effort needed to be recognized by the White House. She began a letter writing campaign that would go on for 12 years.

“Her letters that were all maybe pink or covered with stickers, anything to catch their eye, it didn’t work,”said her sister Marian Sousa. “But when she wrote to Vice President Biden, he got her letter and called her on the telephone and invited us to Washington D.C.”

So, Phyllis and her sister, who was an engineer at the Richmond shipbuilding yard, met President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House. 

Phyllis also designed The Rosie, the riveter gold medal that is going to the Smithsonian, which contains the faces of women from five different ethnic groups. 

Gould was 99 years old.

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