1952 – Born José Andrade Santos, later to take on the name of Zé Andrade, on January 22 in Ubaíra (state of Bahia). Son of Oscar José Santos and Áurea Maria Andrade Santos.

1955 – First contact with the illustrations in Monteiro Lobato's children's book makes a significant impact on the young boy. The memory is still vivid today in his mind.

1962 – Moves with his family to Nanuque (in the state of Minas Gerais) in search of a better life.

1969 – Works with an amateur theater group as actor and set designer.

1972 – Finishes high school in Salvador.

1973 – Moves down to Rio de Janeiro. Leads a hippy lifestyle, living for a time on Copacabana beach.

1974 – Gets to meet artists and begins to model in clay.

1975 – Studies commercial design for advertising at the training school SENAC, alongside cartoonist Jorge Guidacci. At the same time, contributes to the newspaper O Pasquim, with his caricatures which are photographed and used to illustrate articles and featured interviews.

1978 – Has his first solo exhibition at SESC in Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, which receives much media attention and is the subject of the short film Barro Humano, directed by filmmaker Vitor Lustosa.

1980 – Participates in an important group exhibition Criaturas I, together with Millôr Fernandes, Jaguar, Henfil and Veríssimo.

1981 – Participates in the renowned international exposition Salão do Humor in Piracicaba (state of São Paulo).

1983 – Is involved in a number of demonstrations against the oppressive regime. Forms a political party – the Partido Kordelista – together with poets Franklin Maxado, Sá de João Pessoa, Raimundo Silva and Expedito Silva and the artists Ciro Fernandes and Marcelo Soares.

1987 – Exhibits some of his work in the Salão Negro, at the National Congress building – principally those pieces relating to the movement for bringing Brazil back to democracy.

1989 – Features in a group exhibition at the Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro Museum in Portugal.
Engages in street performances around Lisbon. In the guise of a character called Ricardo Reis, a fictitious name for Fernando Pessoa, he chats with the locals and makes headline news in the Lisbon newspapers.

1990 – Puts on workshops at the exposition Salão do Humor do Piauí.
Participates in the Vincent Van Gogh exhibition – un die moderne, in which he performs wearing the mask of the famous Dutch impressionist.

1991 – Holds workshops for the teacher training course Curso de Formação de Professores at the Escolinha de Arte do Brasil which run for five years.
Participates in the first biennial exhibition, the Bienal de HQ, in Rio de Janeiro, in the event promoted by Playboy magazine, at which Zé Andrade, Juca Kfouri and Moacyr Cirne reveal the true identity of the famous erotic comic-strip author Carlos Zéfiro.
Takes part in the cultural project, Encontro Marcado Com A Arte, sponsored by IBM.

1992/93 – Features in group exhibitions in homage to Jorge Amado at the National Museum of Fine Arts and Ulisses Guimarães at the Museu da República.

1994 – Produces 400 clay models of the twelve most renowned Brazilian writers to be honored at the annual Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany. This year, Brazil was the country chosen as the theme for the book fair.

1996 – Makes considerable effort to achieve a high profile for the characters represented in his work in bookshops, art cinemas and cultural establishments.

1999 – Puts on his own exhibition on September 9 at the National Museum of Fine Art in Rio de Janeiro.