Born in Bologna, Italy, Lodovico's grandfather, Bartholomew Ferrari, was forced out of Milan to Bologna. Lodovico settled in Bologna, Italy and he began his career as the servant of Gerolamo Cardano. He was extremely bright, so Cardano started teaching him mathematics. Ferrari aided Cardano on his solutions for quadratic equations and cubic equations, and was mainly responsible for the solution of quartic equations that Cardano published. While still in his teens, Ferrari was able to obtain a prestigious teaching post after Cardano resigned from it and recommended him. Ferrari eventually retired young (only 42) and quite rich. He then moved back to his home town of Bologna where he lived with his widowed sister Maddalena to take up a professorship of mathematics at the University of Bologna in 1565. Shortly thereafter, he died of white arsenic poisoning, according to a legend - because of his sister.