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The Surgeon Who Saved Andy Warhol Passes Away

Warhol's injuries after being shot by Valerie Solanos

Just four days ago, the man responsible for saving Andy Warhol’s life and allowing him to continue creating artworks throughout the 70s and 80s passed away.

On June 3, 1968, Andy Warhol was shot by Valerie Solanas and almost didn’t live to tell the tale. The bullet pierced his spleen, stomach, liver, esophagus, and both of his lungs. When Warhol was taken into Columbus Hospital, he was pronounced dead and remained that way for more than a whole minute. Fortunately for Warhol (and his admirers!), Dr. Giuseppe Rossi was working at Columbus Hospital that day. The dedicated surgeon refused to give up his fight to save Warhol’s life. After five hours of surgery and twelve units of blood, Dr. Rossi managed to bring him back to life.

Despite his joy in getting to continue his life, Warhol still avoided paying his hospital bills. Dr. Rossi eventually addressed the matter himself, writing “Pay up, you blowhard” on the envelope of one of Warhol’s hospital bills. Although Warhol didn’t show his gratitude by paying his hospital bills, he didn’t let his time go to waste. Andy continued creating hundreds of artworks between 1968 and his eventual second death.

Rossi, an Italian-American surgeon, passed away on Monday, March 7th in Naples, Florida.

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