Robert Mailer Anderson

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Robert Mailer Anderson
Born1968 (age 53–54)
San Francisco, California, United States
Notable works
  • Boonville, The Death of Teddy Ballgame (play),
Windows on the World (film)
SpouseNicola Miner

Robert Mailer Anderson (born 1968) is an American novelist, screenwriter, playwright and activist. He is the author of the novel Boonville, which takes place in the Northern California town of Boonville, and the 2016 play The Death of Teddy Ballgame.[1] He is a contributor to the Anderson Valley Advertiser. Anderson is a three-time San Francisco Library Laureate[2] and in 2016 he was presented the San Francisco Arts Medallion for his outstanding leadership in the arts.[3] In August 2020, Anderson was appointed to the California Humanities Board of Directors by Governor Gavin Newsom.[4]

Family background[edit]

Anderson was born in San Francisco. He is a ninth-generation native of California. Anderson and his two siblings were raised by divorced blue-collar parents.[5] As a young man he spent five years living with his father at Grapevine Group Home for juvenile delinquents and disturbed youth, where his father was the director. He also spent time at his father's prior workplace, Fern Hill School, run by his uncle Bruce Anderson, where residents included future serial killer David Mason and Darrell Waters, who murdered one of the Fern Hill counselors.[6][5] His uncle, Bruce Anderson, is the publisher of the Anderson Valley Advertiser for which Robert has been a contributor since 1984 and a fiction editor. During his time as fiction editor, Anderson attracted talents like Daniel Handler, Sandow Birk, Floyd Salas and Michelle Tea.[7]

Writing career[edit]

Anderson's short story "36-28-34-7" was published by Christopher Street in 1995. Boonville was published in 2001 by Bay Area independent publisher Creative Arts Book Publishing, and was then picked up for paperback reprint by HarperCollins.

In 2007 he co-wrote, produced, and appeared in Pig Hunt, a horror film set in Northern California.[8]

Anderson's play "The Death of Teddy Ballgame" was published by San Francisco publishing press Molotov Editions in 2016.[9]

Anderson is co-writer and producer of the film Windows on the World, starring Ryan Guzman and Edward James Olmos, as well as a graphic novel of the same name, based on the screenplay and published by Fantagraphics Books.

Personal life[edit]

Anderson lives in San Francisco.[10] Married to the heiress Nicola Miner (daughter of Oracle Corporation cofounder Bob Miner), he is a former board member of the San Francisco Opera, and SFJAZZ.[11] During his ten years on the SFJAZZ board, Anderson spearheaded the $65 million campaign to build the SFJAZZ Center, the first freestanding building for jazz performance and education in America.[12] Anderson named the campaign "The World is Listening"[13] and the phrase was later used to promote the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards.[14] On February 16, 2012, he and his wife hosted Barack Obama's fundraising visit to San Francisco, at his home in Pacific Heights. Singer Al Green, bassist Les Claypool, harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite and blues player Booker T. Jones performed for the fundraiser.[15][16][17] Anderson was named the Colonial Standard Bearer for the 2013 Selkirk Common Riding in Selkirk, Scotland.[18] His great-grandfather, Robert "Honolulu Bob" Anderson was a founder of the Colonial Society and received the same honor as Colonial Standard Bearer one hundred years prior, in 1913.[19]


In June 2004, Anderson created an anti-Iraq War poster campaign which juxtaposed an Abu Graib prisoner, the American Flag, and the slogan "Got Democracy?". The poster became part of the collection at Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles.[20]

In 2019, Anderson funded Ishmael Reed's The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda and played the role of historian Ron Chernow for the first four staged readings that took place in January 2019 at Nuyorican Poets Cafe.[21][22]

Selected works[edit]





  1. ^ "The Death of Teddy Ballgame". Molotov Editions.
  2. ^ "Library Laureates Go By the Book". SF Wire.
  3. ^ "Arts Medallion 2016". Museum of Performance and Design.
  4. ^ "California Humanities Announces Gubernatorial Appointees to Board of Directors". California Humanities. August 13, 2020. Retrieved August 27, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Robert Mailer Anderson: edgy and on the edge". San Francisco Chronicle. April 29, 2012.
  6. ^ "Jury Begins Waters Deliberations". Ukiah Daily Journal. May 25, 1973. p. 1. Retrieved February 23, 2017 – via (subscription required)
  7. ^ "THE LAST (OR AT LEAST LOONIEST) NEWSPAPER IN AMERICA". Newsweek. April 12, 2015.
  8. ^ ""Robert Mailer Anderson on the Mendo madness of "Pig Hunt"", SF360". Archived from the original on May 16, 2010.
  9. ^ "Playwright and friends explore the thrill of impending doom". San Francisco Chronicle. October 5, 2016.
  10. ^ Aidin Vaziri (December 17, 2006). "ON THE TOWN With Robert Mailer Anderson". San Francisco Chronicle.
  11. ^ "". SFJAZZ Center.
  12. ^ "Robert Mailer Anderson and SFJAZZ Collaborate on a Soundtrack With Soul". Retrieved October 2, 2020.
  13. ^ "The World is Listening" (PDF). SFJAZZ Center.
  14. ^ "55TH GRAMMYS: THE WORLD IS LISTENING (60-SECOND SPOT)". GRAMMY. January 11, 2013.
  15. ^ "President Obama in Bay Area on Thursday". February 15, 2012.
  16. ^ "Highlights and lowlights of Obama's SF visit: our coveted Chronnie Awards are back!!". San Francisco Chronicle. February 1, 2017. Archived from the original on February 18, 2012.
  17. ^ "Bloomberg - Are you a robot?". {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  18. ^ Saunders, Gareth J M. "Robert Mailer Anderson".
  19. ^ "Stories of the Exiles". Selkirk Colonial Society.
  20. ^ "Covering the city with 'got democracy?' posters, writer confronts our ideals, questions Iraq policy". SFGate. June 19, 2004.
  21. ^ Aragon, Rachel de. "Ismael Reed's The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda". Berkshire Fine Arts. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  22. ^ "Downtown gentlemen share a sink, pass the soap please". San Francisco Chronicle. March 4, 2019. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  23. ^ Boonville. Creative Arts. 2001. ISBN 978-0-88739-479-9.
  24. ^ The Death of Teddy Ballgame. Molotov Editions. September 20, 2016. ISBN 978-0-9967659-2-3.
  25. ^ "The Songs of Stevie Wonder". SFJAZZ Center.
  26. ^ "Live 2006 3rd Annual Concert Tour". SFJAZZ Center.
  27. ^ "Live 2007 4th Annual Concert Tour". SFJAZZ Center.
  28. ^ "Latest Recordings". Edward Simon.
  29. ^ "Edward Simon: Latin American Songbook". AllMusic.
  30. ^ "The Latin American Soundbook". Edward Simon.
  31. ^ "NAACP Image Award Nominees Announced". NAACP.
  32. ^ "Miguel Zenon: Tipico". AllMusic.
  33. ^ "Residente, Maluma Lead Latin Grammy Nominations; 'Despacito' Earns 4 Nods". Billboard.
  34. ^ "2018 GRAMMY Award Nominations: The Complete List". CBS.
  35. ^ "Grammy Nominations 2016: See the Full List of Nominees". Billboard.

External links[edit]