Andy Warhol Biography

Andy Warhol was a famous American illustrator. This biography of Andy Warhol provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Andy Warhol
Quick Facts

Birthday: August 6, 1928

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By Andy Warhol Artists

Died At Age: 58

Sun Sign: Leo

Also Known As: Andrew Warhola

Born in: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Famous as: Pop Artist


father: Andrij Warhola

mother: Júlia

siblings: John, Paul

Died on: February 22, 1987

place of death: New York City, U.S.

Personality: INFP

U.S. State: Pennsylvania

Diseases & Disabilities: Asperger's Syndrome, Autism

City: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

More Facts

education: Carnegie Institute of Technology

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Andy Warhol is a name that revolutionized art in the United States of America during the 20th century. While the world was already familiar with art forms such as painting, Andy introduced a new concept named ‘Pop Art’. His illustrations for various brands garnered a lot of appreciation from the public. However, he was also criticized by many for commercializing art. Few of his famous works are the designs made for the world famous beverage ‘Coca Cola’, and ‘Campbell Soup’. Without merely sticking to his paintings, Warhol ventured into cinema too. Of the 60 movies that he directed, most of them were considered offbeat and unconventional. Warhol continues to be a well-known man in art circles even today. He started a couple of institutions to keep the art form alive. Many of his creative works, in the past, have been displayed in various exhibitions across America. He has been a great source of inspiration for many American youth to explore their creativity, and turn towards art. The ‘Andy Warhol’ museum located in Pittsburgh speaks volumes about America’s love and admiration for this great artist.

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Andy Warhol
Childhood & Early Life
  • Andy Warhol was born on August 6, 1928 to Julia and Andrej Warhola, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the youngest child born to the couple. Andy had two elder brothers Paul and John Warhola.
  • Andy was plagued by various health disorders during his childhood such as ‘Sydenham's chorea’ and ‘Scarlet Fever’. Since he was frequently diagnosed for ailments, Andy started developing a sense of fear towards hospitals and doctors.
  • Unlike most kids his age, Andy was a loner and didn’t have many friends. The reason was his absence from his school due to his poor health.
  • Andy was bedridden for a major part of his childhood. His parents and brothers often used to entertain Andy at home. He credits this turbulent period of his childhood for shaping up his personality.
  • After all the struggle, Andy finally managed to graduate from the ‘Schenley High School’ in 1945. He later moved to the ‘Carnegie Institute of Technology’ to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. Andy specialized in Pictorial Design during this 4-year course.
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  • Andy relocated to New York almost immediately after completing his degree, in 1949. He started his career in advertising and magazine illustration. His ink drawings for various shoe advertisements garnered a lot of attention within New York’s advertising circles.
  • The growing reputation of Andy Warhol grabbed the eyes of the music label ‘RCA Records’. Andy and few other artists were hired the music label to design the covers of the various albums produced by it. He was one of the very few artists to adopt the ‘Silk Screen’ printmaking process in the 1950’s decade.
  • Andy, who had earned enough money by 1960 through his advertisement commitments, purchased a 4-storeyed building, so that he could experiment his art on the walls of the dwelling. This unfinished, unconventional look helped him receive a lot of appreciation.
  • During the 1960’s Andy made iconic illustrations for a variety of objects such as, electric chairs, ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’, and Coca-Cola bottles. He als painted famous celebrities like Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, and Elizabeth Taylor.
  • Andy founded his own studio named ‘The Factory’ in New York during this time. Many artists, such as writers and musicians, joined hands with Andy, to become a part of his new initiative.
  • After working as an illustrator for more than a decade, Andy ventured into filmmaking in 1963. In a span of 5 years, he made around 60 films. Noteworthy works amongst these are ‘Sleep’, ‘Blow Job’, ‘Empire’, and ‘Eat’.
  • The 1970s was a sober decade for Andy Warhol, since his work didn’t make noises the way it did in the previous decades. However, he managed to earn many influential patrons during this period. Few of these famous names include John Lennon, Diana Ross, Mick Jagger, and ‘The Shah of Iran’ Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
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  • In 1973, he created a portrait of the Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong, which went on to become a world renowned piece of art. Six years later, Andy, along with close friend Stuart Pavar, founded the ‘New York Academy of Art’
  • Andy was hired by automobile giant ‘BMW’ in 1979 to paint their supercar ‘BMW M1’. Andy was the best choice the company had made, since he decided to paint on a practice model, rather than directly experiment on the full scale product.
  • In 1980, Andy exhibited 10 of his portraits at the Jewish Museum in New York. This collection was named ‘The Jewish Geniuses’.
  • In 1984, he was hired by famous painter/illustrator Alexander Lolas to work on a painting exhibition, which was to be held at Milan. Andy was asked by Lolas to produce something similar to Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece ‘The Last Supper’.
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Major Works
  • Though Andy worked on numerous print advertisements for various products, he is well known for his films. His most noted celluloid work is the 1966 experimental film, ‘Chelsea Girls’. The movie was his first commercial success. ‘Chelsea Girls’ was also known for its unconventional ‘Split-screen’ visuals, which went on to become a trend-setter.
Awards & Achievements
  • The U.S Postal Service issued an 18-inch stamp in 2002, as a tribute to Andy Warhol’s achievements.
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  • A few years after his death, the ‘Andy Warhol Museum’ was opened in Pittsburgh, in honour of the artist. A whopping $12 million was spent to keep the artist’s works alive.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Andy lost his father at the age of 13, at a time when he was already going through a lot of turmoil because of his health conditions. He was quite attached to his mother since a young age, and often called himself a ‘Mama’s Boy’.
  • He was raised as a ‘Ruthenian Catholic’ by his parents, and continued being religious even during the later years of his life.
  • In 1968, radical feminist Valerie Solanas tried assassinating Andy Warhol, but the attempt backfired. Soranos was a member of Andy’s organization ‘The Factory’. The assassination almost killed Andy, but he narrowly escaped death. The shooting made a great negative impact on Andy for the rest of his life.
  • Andy Warhol was gay. His attempt to exhibit few of his nude male paintings at a fine art gallery failed, since the organizers felt that the paintings were too erotic and explicit.
  • Warhol succumbed to ‘Cardiac Arrhythmia’ on February 22, 1987, in a New York hospital, at the age of 59. A few days before his death, Warhol had undergone a Gallbladder surgery. His body was cremated in Pittsburgh by his brothers. Andy’s family sued the hospital authorities for their negligence, which supposedly caused the death.
  • Andy Warhol has been a subject of great curiosity for filmmakers. His life has been a source of inspiration for documentaries such as ‘Absolut Warhola’, ‘Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film’, and ‘Andy Warhol: Double Denied’.

1. Lupe (1966)


2. Salvador Dalí (1966)

  (Short, Music, Documentary)

3. The Illiac Passion (1967)


4. Restaurant (1965)


5. Tootsie (1982)

  (Comedy, Drama, Romance)

6. More Milk, Evette (1966)


7. Kitchen (1965)


8. Normal Love (1963)


See the events in life of Andy Warhol in Chronological Order

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Article Title
- Andy Warhol Biography
- Editors,
Last Updated
- November 29, 2016

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