Born in New York City, Venezia and his family traveled between New York and Chicago because they wanted to be near relatives in both cities, but they couldn't decide in which place they wanted to live. Fortunately, Venezia's father worked as an airline mechanic and could transfer jobs frequently. Finally they decided to settle in Chicago when Venezia was ten years old, and he went on to graduate from high school and attend The Art Institute of Chicago. Broadening his artistic ability, he earned his bachelor of fine arts degree and later took a job for the advertising agency of Leo Burnett Company.
After 33 years and having been the executive director and vice president of the company, Venezia retired to be a full-time author and illustrator of children's books. His writing career had begun in 1978 and since then Venezia has created award-winning books and movies about history, art, and music. His series called Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers gives readers the opportunity to learn about well-known and somewhat unknown composers. He has also produced Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists and Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents. He has animated videos to compliment some of his books, and Venezia currently is pursuing a new topic—inventors and scientists.
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