Valerie Solanas (April 9, 1936-April 25, 1988) was a radical feminist who was best known for her assassination attempt of the well-known artist Andy Warhol. She also spent most of her life writing a radical feminist book entitled the SCUM Manifesto, and in it, she attempted to convince her female readers to rebel against the patriarchal system, and to also destroy the male gender.
Valerie was born in 1936 in Ventnor City, New Jersey, to Louis and Dorothy Marie Solanas. Valerie has often made the claim that her father sexually assaulted her, however one of her friends later claimed that she had a good childhood and she stayed in contact with her father through his entire life leading many to quesion her accounts. Eventually, Louis and Dorothy filed for a divorce. Dorothy later re-married, and soon, Valerie had a new father. However, she strongly disliked her new father, and she eventually started to rebel against him and her mother. She was kicked out of the house by her parents in 1949, and she was sent to live with her grandparents. She claimed that her grandfather was an alcoholic abuser, and she eventually severed her ties with her grandparents and left their house. In the years between 1951 and 1953, she gave birth to a son, and named him David. David was eventually taken away from her, and she never saw him again.
Despite this, however, Valerie managed to receive a degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota, and she later attended the University of Minnesota's School of Psychology. She dropped out, however, and began to formulate ideas for her infamous book the SCUM Manifesto. Society for cutting up men.
Assassination Attempt on Warhol's Life
Solanas later moved to New York City in the mid-1960s, and worked as a writer. It is there that she met the well-known artist Andy Warhol. She commissioned Warhol into producing her play entitled Up Your Ass, and grew incredibly angry at the indifference that Warhol gave for her play. She later demanded financial compensation for her abandoned play, and Warhol gave her a role in his 1967 film I, a Man, and paid her $25 for her trouble.
In 1967, Maurice Girodias of the Olympia Press, offered to publish Solanas' writings. Valerie, knowing that her writings would be owned by Girodias if she were to sign the contract with him, purchased a gun in the spring of 1968, and later hunted for Girodias, who was away from home at the time. She later found Warhol at the Factory, and she then proceeded to shoot him three times. She also shot Mario Amaya, an art critic, and attempted to shoot Warhol's assistant as well. She later turned herself over to the police and was found guilty of attempted murder, assault, and the illegal possession of a gun. She served a three-year prison sentence, and she also spent some time at a pyschiatric hospital.
When she was released from prison after serving those three-years, she continued to promote her radical feminist book, and ultimately died in a hostel of pneumonia in 1988.