Rosie the Riveter (Mary Doyle Keefe)
Mary Doyle Keefe stands next to Norman Rockwell's painting 'Rosie the Riveter'. Getty

Mary Doyle Keefe, the woman who became the model for Norman Rockwell's Rosie the Riveter has died at the age of 92.

Rosie the Riveter was the symbol of American women working on the home front during the Second World War II. Keefe died on Tuesday 22 April in Connecticut after a brief illness, according to her daughter.

TMZ reported that Keefe met Rockwell when she was 19 and working as a telephone operator. She was paid $10 to pose for Rockwell's iconic painting, which showed a woman with her sleeves rolled up, rivet gun on her lap, and eating a sandwich during a break.

The image first appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in May 1943.

In real life, Keefe wasn't anywhere near as beefy and muscular as Rockwell's Rosie, and he apologised to her for the image, saying he needed to make her "sort of a giant."

The painting was eventually used to sell war bonds -- and Beyonce had her her own version of Rosie last summer on Instagram.

Beyonce as Rosie the Riveter
Beyonce used the image of Rosie the Riveter Instagram