Alberto Vargas (1896-1982)

  ALBERTO VARGAS was born in Arequipa, Peru, on February 9, 1896, as the son of successful photographer Max T. Vargas.

After extensive art studies in France and Switzerland, he immigrated to New York City before World War I and became the official painter for the Ziegfield Follies in 1919.

In 1934, he moved to Hollywood, California, where he painted posters and designed sets for major movie studios.

When he was hired to replace pinup artist George Petty at  Esquire magazine in 1940, his work became so popular that during World War II, his female seminudes adorned uniform jackets, aircrafts, and battleships.

In the late 1950s, Hugh Hefner invited Alberto Vargas to join  Playboy magazine, and for the next 16 years, a "Vargas Girl" was published every month.

The artist retired in 1976 and wrote his autobiography Vargas with Reid Austin in 1978.

He died of a stroke in Los Angeles, California, on December 30, 1982.

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