Of Aardenne was the son of surgeon Michael Peace Reign of Aardenne and Wilhelmina Petronella Heykoop. He attended primary school in Rotterdam and then he went to the Erasmiaans Gymnasium . Then he studied mathematics and physics at the University of Leiden . In his student years he was a member of the Student Leidsch Corps and lived in the famous studentCourt 5 in the city of Leiden. Among other things he held the administrative position of president of the association among Morphy, the chess of the Corps. After graduation he went to work at Penn ironmaster and Bauduin in Dordrecht. He soon came to the right and management was 1967 to 1971 director.
Of Aardenne was in 1964 for the VVD member of the city of Dordrecht and would until 1977 remain. From 1970 to 1972 he was alderman of Dordrecht. In 1971 he was elected to the House of Representatives , where he dealt himself with Social Affairs , Health and Interior . He was also a time of financial spokesman VVD. In 1977 he became Minister of Economic Affairs in the first cabinet Van Agt . During his first term as Minister he had mostly to do with the issue of nuclear energy and the major problems in the shipbuilding industry . After the elections of1981 he was again, albeit briefly, MP. In the first Lubbers cabinet he held back the minister of economic affairs and was also deputy prime minister.
Of Aardenne got into big trouble during the 1985 Parliamentary inquiry into the RSV-yard . This study showed that Van Aardenne the Court had not been informed about the amount of 330 million aid that he had granted. Minister during his first period A majority wanted to connect to this "political mortal sin" no consequences but everyone agreed that the position of Van Aardenne was harmed. From Aardenne continued as "fair game" a term that was introduced. First in Dutch politics in the RSV debate It was therefore not surprising that he had already announced, they will leave. Politics after the end of the relevant term of government In 1986 he did. Since this survey is deliberately false informing the parliament by a minister still labeled as "political mortal sin."
After his minister Van Aardenne held a large number of social functions. He was one of the more formatters of the first purple cabinet . He also held various supervisory, such as DSM , Heerlen. Gijs van Aardenne died at age 65 from the disease ALS .