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Appearance

Height: 5 feet 11 inches

Weight: 130-140 pounds

Eye color: Blue

Natural hair color: Dark brown

Warhol was very concerned with his appearance, and he cultivated different looks throughout his lifetime.

Photos of him in his twenties show that he had a blotchy skin discoloration. Warhol was unhappy with his nose, which he had surgery to alter in the late 1950s. As he aged, he used cosmetics and collagen treatments to tighten his face.

In the mid-1950s Warhol began wearing a hairpiece, which matched his natural dark brown hair color.

In the mid-1960s he supposedly spray-painted his wig silver. Later that decade he adopted the wig that became his permanent look; it was brown in back with shades of blonde on the front and sides.

Health

As a child, Andy was rather delicate and suffered bouts of Sydenham Chorea, a neurological disorder more commonly known as “St. Vitus’ Dance.”

On June 3, 1968, Valerie Solanas shot Andy Warhol in the abdomen at his 33 Union Square West studio. Reportedly declared dead upon arrival at the hospital, Warhol was saved after five hours of surgery. A single bullet had damaged his lungs, esophagus, spleen, liver, and stomach. After nearly two months, Warhol was released from the hospital. However, he underwent several further surgeries and was required to wear a surgical corset for the remainder of his life.

Warhol used various stimulants throughout his life. From alcohol to heroin, drug usage was common among artists during his time. While he did not use the “harder” forms, he did consume more socially acceptable varieties. In the 1950s, the decade of the “three-martini lunch”, he drank alcohol with his friends.

In the mid-1960s he used a mild amphetamine called Obetrol, a diet pill that allowed him to work all night.

During the days of Studio 54 in the 1970s he probably did cocaine, although this is a point of contention among his friends and acquaintances.

Late in his life, Warhol suffered chronic gall bladder problems. His pain intensified in January 1987 during a trip to Italy. On February 20, 1987 he was admitted to New York Hospital. The next morning his gall bladder was successfully removed and Warhol seemed to be recovering well—watching television and talking on the telephone. During that night, however, complications arose which resulted in sudden cardiac arrest. Warhol was pronounced dead at 6:31 am on Sunday, February 22, 1987. He was 58 years old.

Reading

There is a wealth of publications on Warhol’s art and life and related criticism of the time periods in which he worked. The artist also published numerous books such as Popism, a vital account of the emergence of Pop art and Warhol’s Silver Factory in 1960s.

Religious Beliefs

Warhol was raised a Byzantine Catholic, attending St. John Chrystostom Church in Pittsburgh. As an adult he frequently attended the St. Mary's Church on East 15th St. in New York. In 1980 he had an audience with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. Later in his life, Warhol became interested in "crystal healing”, though he worried about the potential conflict with his faith.

Warhol was buried in his family plot in St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Bethel Park, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 

Sexuality

Warhol had relationships with several men. Among these were the photographer Edward Wallowitch; graphic artist Ted Carey; poet John Giorno (who was featured in Warhol’s first film, Sleep); interior designer Jed Johnson; and Paramount Pictures executive Jon Gould. These men were often professionally as well as personally important to Warhol.

 

Wealth

Despite humble beginnings, Warhol quickly ascended the economic ladder. He used the sizeable revenue from his illustration work in the 1950s to finance later enterprises, such as the painting and filmmaking in the 1960s. Commissioned art and other ventures, including publishing, kept him financially prosperous throughout the years.

The artist owned several properties: in addition to real estate in Colorado and Long Island, he had an Upper East Side townhouse and 4-storey office/studio near the Empire State Building. At the time of his death Warhol's estate was valued at $220,000,000.