In his twenties he photographed the horrors of the Second World War. Years later Slim Aarons, who lost his twin brother in the war and won a Purple Heart, said for The New York Times that combat had taught him that the only beach worth landing on was "decorated with beautiful, seminude girls tanning in a tranquil sun."
George Allen Aarons, called "Slim" because of his slender body, was born in Manhattan on Oct. 29, 1916. He was reared in New York and New Hampshire and was an Army photographer in World War II. The tragedy of the war had an unusual effect on his development as an artist - today Slim Aarons is known as one of the most popular photographers-positivists. His art showed the magic world of the rich in their routine life without additional make up. Over the years he took pictures of Hollywood legends, actors, directors and world celebrities. "I knew everyone," he said in an interview with The Independent in 2002. "They would invite me to one of their parties because they knew I wouldn't hurt them. I was one of them."
His pictures appeared on the pages of Harper's Bazaar, Life, Vanity Fair and Holiday, but despite his popularity he describes himself as "just an ordinary guy" who "picked a niche nobody else did."
Aarons published four photo books, and they can be found on the editors' desks of the most respected lifestyle magazines. His most popular book is A Wonderful Time: An Intimate Portrait of the Good Life (1974). For more than thirty years A Wonderful Time has been serving as a source of inspiration for art designers and advertising gurus.
He preferred living in the country and in the last years of his life he rarely ventured into Manhattan, only an hour away from his home. "I don't go to New York anymore," Aarons said for The New York Times."I went when it was great and beautiful." He is referring the 1950's, when Slim paid $32 a month for a one-bedroom apartment with a terrace on 57th Street, near Park Avenue.
Aarons's favorite author is Mark Twen "I have every single thing Mark Twain ever wrote," he shares for NY Times. "No fancy words. Every trip I traveled, I always carried Mark Twain with me. The greatest read in the world. I read "Tom Sawyer" every year."
"Attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places" was Aarons's mantra.
Having taken an iconic portrait of Ann Getty, in 1997 he leaved his massive collection to the Getty Foundation. Slim Aarons died in 2006, but his art will keep the spirit and beauty of the rich and famous of the 20th century.