M. D. Anderson, philanthropist, was born on June 29, 1873, in Jackson, Tennessee, the sixth of eight children of James Wisdom and Ellen (Dunaway) Anderson. James Anderson was first president of the First National Bank of Jackson. As a young man M. D. Anderson was a banker in Jackson, Tennessee. In 1904 he joined his brother, Frank Ervin Anderson, and the latter's brother-in-law, William Lockhart Clayton, in establishing Anderson, Clayton and Company, a partnership that eventually grew into the world's largest cotton merchandiser. Anderson moved to Houston, Texas, about 1907 to take advantage of the city's proximity to the port of Galveston and its superior banking resources. Houston became the company's headquarters in 1916, and Anderson served as its treasurer until illness forced his retirement in 1938. The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, initially funded by a substantial gift from the M. D. Anderson Foundation to the University of Texas, is Anderson's best-known philanthropy. The foundation, established before Anderson's death, received the bulk of his large estate. Anderson was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Democratic party, but was not active in church or in politics. He never married. He lived for thirty years in a succession of downtown Houston hotels. He died in that city on August 6, 1939, after a year-long illness and was buried in Jackson, Tennessee.
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William B. Bates, "Monroe D. Anderson: His Life and Legacy," Texas Gulf Coast Historical Association Publications 1.1 (February 1957). Houston Post, August 7, 1939.
Texas in the 1920s
Upper Gulf Coast
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Thomas D. Anderson,
“Anderson, Monroe Dunaway,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 28, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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