John Edward Anderson
|John Edward Anderson|
September 12, 1917|
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
|Died||July 29, 2011
Los Angeles, California
Margaret (m. 1942–65)
John Edward Anderson (September 12, 1917 – July 29, 2011) was the president and sole shareholder of Topa Equities, Ltd. Anderson oversaw more than 40 wholly owned subsidiaries in diverse industries such as agriculture, automotive dealerships, insurance, real estate, oil, and wholesale beverage distribution. In 2006, he was ranked #189 on the Forbes Magazine list of the 400 richest Americans, with a net worth of $1.9 billion. He made charitable donations to the University of California, Los Angeles, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and other Southern California educational institutions during his lifetime. Anderson died from pneumonia at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Anderson was born on September 12, 1917 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was the son of a barber. Anderson was the valedictorian of his high school class. Anderson also earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America in 1931. He attended UCLA from 1936 to 1940, playing on the ice hockey team, and graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor's degree in business administration. While at UCLA, he was a member of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. He then attended Harvard Business School on scholarship, graduating with a MBA after World War II had broken out. While at Harvard, he was a George Fisher Baker Scholar. Anderson entered the military on the staff of an admiral, and passed his CPA exam while in the Navy. Anderson continued his education after the war, earning his JD from Loyola Law School in 1950. He graduated first in his class at Loyola, and was offered a full-time teaching position. For the next 25 years, Anderson taught at the law school in mornings and evenings while he worked at his law firm.
In 1942, Anderson married his UCLA sweetheart, Margaret Stewart, and they had five children. Margaret died of cancer in 1965, and he married his current wife Marion in 1967. His daughter Debbie died at the age of seventeen in a car accident in 1969. Anderson's son John, Jr. is an executive vice president of Topa Equities, Ltd., his daughter Judith manages the agricultural ranch in Ojai, California. His sons also manage the family's beverage distribution and automotive businesses. He resided in the East Gate Bel Air section of Los Angeles, California. Anderson has 15 grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. His wife Marion runs the Marion & John E. Anderson Foundation charity.
Anderson was the founding partner of Kindel & Anderson law firm in 1953. On April 1, 1956, Anderson founded Ace Beverage Co. with exclusive rights to distribute Budweiser in Los Angeles, California. In 1980, he founded Topa Properties, Ltd., which owns a sizeable amount of property in the US Virgin Islands. His portfolio included 4,000,000 square feet (370,000 m2) of commercial property and 4,500 residential units. He was a chairman of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles, a trustee and former president of Saint John's Hospital and Health Center Foundation and trustee of Claremont McKenna College. Anderson was on the Board of Visitors at the Anderson School of Management, which is named after him. Anderson also taught several business courses at UCLA.
Among his charitable endeavors, Anderson and his wife Marion donated more than $50 million for the construction of a new building for Children's Hospital Los Angeles, where Marion Anderson is a board member. Beginning in 1987, the Andersons donated $42 million to the University of California, Los Angeles. The UCLA Graduate School of Management was later renamed the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management.
- 1985 — Distinguished Service Award, Loyola Law School
- 1987 — UCLA Graduate School of Management was renamed the John E. Anderson School of Management after he donated $15 million
- 1987 — Southern California Entrepreneur of the Year
- 1988 — Outstanding Individual Philanthropist on National Philanthropy Day
- 1995 — UCLA Alumnus of the Year
- 1995 — UCLA Medal
- 2002 — Master Entrepreneur of the Year
- 2002 — John E. Anderson Distinguished Alumnus Award, UCLA John E. Anderson School of Management
- 2003 — Business Person of the year, Business Hall of Fame
- 2004 — Humanitarian Award, National Conference for Community and Justice
- Unk — Distinguished Eagle Scout Award
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