Andy Warhol

(1928 Pittsburgh – 1987 New York)

Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola on August 6, 1928, in a two-room row house apartment at 73 Orr Street in Pittsburgh. His parents, Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants Andrej and Julia Warhola, had three sons. Andy was their youngest.

Devout Byzantine Catholics, the family attended mass regularly and observed the traditions of their Eastern European heritage. Warhol’s father, a laborer, moved his family to a brick home on Dawson Street in 1934. Warhol attended the nearby Holmes School and took free art classes at Carnegie Institute (now The Carnegie Museum of Art). In addition to drawing, Hollywood movies enraptured Andy and he frequented the local cinema. When he was about nine years old, he received his first camera. Andy enjoyed taking pictures, and he developed them himself in his basement.

Andrej Warhola died in 1942, the same year that Andy entered Schenley High School. Recognizing his son’s talent, Andrej had saved money to pay for his college education. Warhol attended Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) from 1945 to 1949. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Pictorial Design with the goal of becoming a commercial illustrator. During these years he worked in the display department at Horne’s department store.