A.A. Bodine was born in Baltimore on July 21, 1906. He attended St. Paul's Bays' School until the 8th grade when he left the school because he felt it was too expensive for his parents yet he loved the school so much that he didn't want to go anywhere else.
So at the age of 14 he became a messenger for the Sunpapers, earning $8.00 a week. He took an interest in art and started helping the artists complete the detail work that they didn't have the time to do. Eventually he started going out with the photographers to help them carry their equipment. One of the photographers was not all that interested in it and let Aubrey actually shoot the pictures. When one of the photographers was injured by an explosion of the flash powder, Aubrey was able to step right into his place while he was in the hospital recovering. In the fall of 1923 he submitted two pictures of the Thomas Viaduct and they were published in the Sunday Sun. He was only 17 years old. This was the beginning of his long career as a photographer.
He didn't like to talk about his early years and his humble beginnings with the Sunpapers as a messenger. He wanted people to believe that he started his career as a commercial photographer with the Sun.