Andy Warhol was born Andy Warhola on August 6, 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His father was a construction worker and died when Andy was only 13. He graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1949 with a degree in commercial art and moved to New York City, where he worked as an artist. His first moment of fame was in August of 1949, when he was hired by Glamour Magazine to do some illustrations for a section titled "Success is a Job in New York". However, the credit misspelled his last name as Warhol, which caused him to drop the final a from his last name.
His first solo exhibition was opened at the Hugo Gallery in New York in 1952. He also had a group exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1956.
He was hired to draw more advertisements and by 1955 he was known as the most commercially successful artist in New York. Magazines from Vogue to Harpar's Bazaar hired him for designing art for their articles. He developed a technique for transferring enlarged photographic images onto silk screens, which were placed on canvas and inked from the rear. This is the method that he used to create his popular Campbell's Soup can and other images, beginning in 1962.
In 1962, he founded an art studio called The Factory. It was an art studio that hired artists to mass produced everything from prints to shoes.
In the 1960s, Andy began making bizarre experimental films. His first such films included "Sleep", "Empire", and "The Chelsea Girls". In 1965, he began traveling around the world with a musical group called The Velvet Underground. He also got involved with a light show called The Exploding Plastic Inevitable.
On June 3, 1968, a woman named Valerie Solanis came into The Factory and shot Andy in the chest three times. She had worked there on occasion and also formed an organization called "SCUM", or the Society for Cutting Up Men. At the hospital he was initially pronounced dead, but the doctors managed to massage his heart back into life. Valerie was put in a mental hospital and later given prison for three years.
Andy recovered and started a magazine called inter/VIEW in 1969. He continued to paint over that time and also published a book on his philosophy. During the 70s, he began painting portraits of celebrities and the rich. He also started a popular nightclub, which became one of the hottest places in town.
Andy died at 6:31 am on February 22, 1987 in the New York Hospital after complications with a gall bladder operation. His funeral was attended by more than two thousand people and a memorial museum was opened for him in Pittsburgh. Today he is remembered as a revolutionary artist that triggered the beginning of the pop art movement.