Rathbone was born in San Diego, California. He attended San Diego State University, majoring in comparative literature, and graduated in 1986. He lives with his wife Tina in Ocean Beach, a neighborhood in San Diego, California.
The character of Mark "The Rat" Ratner in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High was modeled on Rathbone after writer Cameron Crowe befriended him during Crowe's research for the original book at San Diego's Clairemont High School. Rathbone's portrayal in the film was featured in an article titled "Geek God" published in the March 13, 1995, issue of People Weekly magazine.
In 1992, he wrote his first For Dummies book, Windows For Dummies, which was a New York Times bestseller. Since then, he has published some 50 computer books. His latest book is Windows 8.1 For Dummies. Several of his For Dummies books have made USA Today's bestseller list.
- ""Geek God." People Weekly 13 March 1995". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25.
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) - Trivia
- People magazine, "Geek God: Once the Butt of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Best-Selling Author Andy Rathbone Becomes a Computer Guru," March 13, 1995
- The New York Times, Business Best Seller list.
- Andy Rathbone
- USA Today Best-Selling Books Database