Slim Aarons

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Slim Aarons, born George Allen Aarons (October 29, 1916 – May 29, 2006), was an American photographer noted for photographing socialites, jet-setters and celebrities.

Photography career[edit]

He was born in Manhattan. At 18 years old, Aarons enlisted in the U.S. Army, worked as a photographer at West Point, and later served as a combat photographer in World War II and earned a Purple Heart. Aarons said combat had taught him the only beach worth landing on was "decorated with beautiful, seminude girls tanning in a tranquil sun."[citation needed]

After the war, Aarons moved to California and began photographing celebrities. In California, he shot his most praised photo, Kings of Hollywood, a 1957 New's Year's Eve photograph depicting Clark Gable, Van Heflin, Gary Cooper, and James Stewart relaxing at a bar in full formal wear. Aaron's work appeared in Life, Town & Country, and Holiday magazines.[citation needed]

Aarons never used a stylist, or a makeup artist. He made his career out of what he called "photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places."[1] "I knew everyone," he said in an interview with The (London) 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."[citation needed] Alfred Hitchcock's film, Rear Window, whose main character is a photographer played by Jimmy Stewart, is set in an apartment reputed to be based on Aarons' apartment.[2]


He died in 2006 in Montrose, New York, and was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[citation needed]

Photo books[edit]

  • A Wonderful Time: An Intimate Portrait of the Good Life (1974)
  • Slim Aarons: Once Upon a Time (2003)
  • Slim Aarons: A Place In the Sun (2005)
  • Poolside with Slim Aarons (2007)
  • Slim Aarons: La Dolce Vita (2012)


  1. ^ Douglas Martin 'Slim Aarons, 89, Dies; Photographed Celebrities at Play' New York Times: June 1, 2006[1]
  2. ^ Koetzle, Hans-Michael (2011). Photographers A-Z. Taschen, Cologne, p.6