Mike Venezia was born on June 8th, 1945 in New York City and spent the first ten years of his life moving between there and Chicago. He attended the School of The Art Institute of Chicago for four years and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Venezia retired from his job of 33 years as Executive Art Director and Vice President at Chicago's largest advertising agency, Leo Burnett Company, so that he could work full time on his books and videos. He started his writing career back in 1978, when he authored and illustrated books for Childrens Press. His Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists is Childrens Press' #1 Best Selling trade book series, and is a top seller in school and library sales, which is quickly followed by his Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers Series.