He was a teacher at the university in Harrison, Ohio. In 1969, while still a student at the same university, he took part in a test of chemical substances organised by The Shop. The chemical that he got injected was called Lot Six, and it changed his chromosomes, giving him the ability to 'push' others' minds to make them do or believe whatever he told them.
Later he married Vicky Tomlinson, a young woman who also had taken part in the test and developed minor telekinetic abilities. When their daughter Charlie was born, they learned that she had the ability to start fires with her mind.
The Shop, who was keeping tabs on the family after the test, wanted to find out more about Charlie's powers and tried to kidnap her. Vicky was murdered in their attempt to capture Charlie, but Andy was able to rescue and escape with Charlie.
Despite his attempt to remain undercover, Andy and Charlie were eventually captured by the Shop and subseqently separated, Andy becoming addicted to drugs 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.
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".