Andy was born on December 14, 1947, in Tashmore, Vermont.
Once, when he was 9 years old, he was hunting with his father and maternal grandfather, and he killed a squirrel. Traumatized by what he had done, he vowed to never kill anything with a gun, to which his grandfather told him, "God loves to make a man break a vow".
Once, when he was 10 years old, he broke his left ankle while sliding into second base in a Little League baseball game.
Andy's father died from a sudden heart attack when he was 11 (1958), and his mother was killed in a car crash when he was 17 (1964). He was later raised by his mother's sister Cora.
In May 1969, his friend Quincy Tremont recommended $200 if he volunteered for an experiment being performed by Joseph Wanless, Doctor of Psychology for The Shop. Although suspicious, he agreed to sign on.
On May 6, he turned in his volunteer form when he met his future wife Victoria "Vicky" Tomlinson. The two got to talking, and Andy was disappointed when he found out she had a boyfriend named George. Nevertheless, he convinced Vicky to sign on to the experiment. Although George was adamant about her not doing so, Vicky volunteered anyway.
On May 11, Andy, Vicky, James Richardson, and 9 other students were given injections. The injections gave Andy and Vicky powers: Andy could communicate through his mind, as well as control others, while Vicky would read minds and control objects from a distance.
At some point, they married, and Andy took a job as an English teacher at Harrison State College. In March 1975, their daughter Charlene McGee was born, with her mother's ability to read minds, as well as a terrifying pyrokinetic power.
Andy soon found out, from a phone call from Quincy, that the Shop was hunting people with certain powers. Realizing what might happen if the Shop found them, they lay low.
In August 1980, Andy was having lunch with colleagues when he had a picognitive flash. Realizing what would happen, Andy rushed home, only to find Vicky dead, with a rag down her throat, and Charlie missing.
Frantic, he traced clues to the a gas station near the airport, and found his daughter in the custody of 2 Shop agents. Using his power, he made 1 agent go blind, and another agent go comatose, while he reclaimed his daughter and fled to Hammersmith, 20 miles north of Harrison.
Not long after, they relocated to Port City, Pennsylvania, where Charlie entered first grade. They stayed in Port City for 1 year before being discovered.
They fled to Manhattan, where Andy realized his bank account had been erased. In Lenox Hill, they almost got caught by Shop Agents, but luckily hailed a taxicab to Albany County Airport.
Realizing that they were now completely out of money, Andy considered stealing, with his daughter reminding him that it's not right to steal, and him reminding her about the lesser and greater evils. Charlie got money out of an ATM machine, and they escaped the airport just before Shop agents arrived. They spent the night at the Slumberland Motel in Hastings Glen.
While asleep, Andy dreamed about Granther McGee, and when they woke up the next morning, Charlie suggested that they stay at Granther's summer cabin in Tashmore.
They hitched a ride with farmer Irving "Irv" Manders, under the aliases Frank and Roberta Burton, fabricating a story about how they need to get to St. Johnsbury, Vermont, as "Frank"'s wife gave birth to a boy named Andy at 1:40am. While en rout, Irv took them to his farm for a while. While Charlie helped Norma Manders feed the chickens, Andy revealed the truth to Irv. Although Irv initially didn't believe him, he did as soon as Shop agents arrived. Irv got his deer gun to help defend Andy and Charlie, but the Shop agents shot Irv and grabbed Andy. As a result, Charlie unleashed her power, killing almost everyone. Although Norma was initially horrified, Irv still helped them by giving them their Jeep, and showed them how to get to Tashmore.
They arrived at Granther's cabin, and spent the next 5 months there before eventually being captured by Shop agents led by John Rainbird, and were subsequently separated for 6 months.
Andy soon became addicted to thorazine, as they attempted to determine how his abilities worked. However, during a blackout, Andy was able to 'Push' himself to recover from his addiction, subsequently setting up a plan to escape by subtly 'Pushing' the director of the facility. The attempt succeeded in reuniting him with Charlie in a barn, but the deteriorating mental condition of the Shop director after Andy pushed him, combined with the twisted actions of John Rainbird, resulted in Andy being shot in the head as he and Charlie tried to escape; his last words being to ask Charlie to destroy the base and ensure that the government couldn't try something like this again.
In the 1984 film, Andy is played by David Keith. In the 2002 miniseries "Firestarter: Rekindled", Andy is played by Aaron Radl.
Andy has shaggy black hair and grey-green eyes, and is described as a big man with broad shoulders.
He wears a worn and scruffed corduroy jacket and plain brown twills.
He weighs 162 pounds, but while in confinement, he gains 28 pounds, clocking in at 190 pounds.
As a result of the Shop's experiments on him, Andy gained a minor mind-manipulation power, which he referred to as 'the Push'. When he concentrated on someone, Andy could make them believe whatever he told them or perform certain actions, ranging from convincing someone not to commit suicide by making them forget the original traumatic event to telling an agent of the Shop that the gun he was holding was too hot to hold. Use of the Push gave Andy various headaches, but these varied in intensity depending on how long it had been since he last used the Push and what he made the subject do when he used it. The ability was most successful when used on unsuspecting targets of average intelligence, with it being ineffective on people who were particularly smart or particularly stupid who had reason to suspect that he was about to do something. As a rule of thumb, Andy recalled his Push effectiveness: "bright people it was easy, stupid people a bit tougher, and for the mentally retarded or super geniuses it was impossible".
- According to the novel, Andy's blood type is O.