John Quincy Anderson, Texas folklorist, author, and professor, was born on May 30, 1916, in Wheeler, Texas, to Albert Slayton and Emily (Grant) Anderson. He attended Oklahoma State University, where he received his B.A. degree in 1939. He was in the United States Army from 1940 until 1946 and was decorated with the French Médaille de la Reconnaissance. He earned a master's degree from Louisiana State University in 1948 and completed his Ph.D. in 1952 at the University of North Carolina. Anderson began teaching at McNeese State College as an assistant professor in 1952. He then taught in the English department at Texas A&M University from 1953 to 1966. He chaired the department from 1962 to 1966. He taught in the University of Houston American literature department from 1966 until his death, when he was professor emeritus.
Anderson was a member of the Modern Language Association and the South Central Modern Language Association. From 1963 to 1964 he was president, and from 1964 to 1967 he was on the executive council of the American Studies Association. He was an editor of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly in the 1970s. He was also a member of the Western American Literature Association and in 1955–56 the American Literature Association of Texas. He was also active in the Texas Folklore Society.
He wrote many books, including Brokenburn: The Journal of Kate Stone (1955), A Texas Surgeon in the C.S.A. (1957), Louisiana Swamp Doctor: The Life and Writings of Henry Clay Lewis (1962), Tales of Frontier Texas (1966), Campaigning with Parsons' Texas Cavalry Brigade, C.S.A. (1967), John C. Duval: First Texas Man of Letters (1967), Texas Folk Medicine (1970), and The Liberating Gods: Emerson on Poets and Poetry (1971). Anderson married Marie Loraine Epps; they had no children. He died on February 19, 1975, in Houston.