Born in Halifax County, Virginia. He was the youngest of ten children born to Martha Thompson Anderson and William Edward Anderson. He graduated from Halifax High School and attended Randolph Macon College. He served six years in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was stationed in Norfolk, San Francisco, and Okinawa. His rank was Storekeeper 2nd Class. Was employed by Philip Morris Tobacco Company for many years and retired in May 1981. Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Isabel Griffin Anderson.