Part One Of Two
August 6, 1928 - February 22, 1987
More commonly known as Andy Warhol,
was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became famous worldwide for his work as a painter, avant-garde filmmaker, record producer, author, and public figure known for his membership in wildly diverse social circles that included bohemian street people, distinguished intellectuals, Hollywood celebrities and wealthy aristocrats.
Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. He coined the expression "15 minutes of fame."
Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the third child of his parents, Andrej Warhola and Ulja. His parents were working-class immigrants of Rusyn ethnicity from MikovÃ¡, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in northeastern Slovakia). Warhol's father immigrated to the US in 1914, and his mother joined him in 1921, after the death of Andy Warhol's grandparents. Warhol's father worked in a coal mine. The family lived at 55 Beelen Street and later at 3252 Dawson Street in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The family was Byzantine Catholic and attended St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church. Andy Warhol had two older brothers, John (JÃ¡n) and Paul (Pavol), who were born in today's Slovakia. Paul's son, James Warhola, became a successful children's book illustrator.
In third grade, Warhol had St. Vitus' dance, a nervous system disease that causes involuntary movements of the extremities, which is believed to be a complication of scarlet fever and causes skin pigmentation blotchiness. He became somewhat of a hypochondriac, developing a fear of hospitals and doctors. Often bed-ridden as a child, he became an outcast among his school-mates and bonded strongly with his mother. When in bed he drew, listened to the radio and collected pictures of movie stars around his bed. Warhol later described this period as very important in the development of his personality, skill-set and preferences.