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Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr.

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Information about Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr.

Profile image of Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr.

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Entrepreneur
Military Officer
Corporate Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gray
Favorite Food:
Bread (Rolls)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
San Diego, California
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is

Birthplace

Born:
2/12/1943
Birth Location:
Topeka, Kansas

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Entrepreneur
Military Officer
Corporate Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gray
Favorite Food:
Bread (Rolls)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
San Diego, California
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is

Birthplace

Born:
2/12/1943
Birth Location:
Topeka
See how Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Corporate executive and military officer Joseph Benjamin Anderson was born on February 12, 1943, in Topeka, Kansas, to Pearl Gatewood and Joseph B. Anderson, Sr. His father was a widower with one son while his mother had two daughters from a previous marriage. An Eagle Scout and athlete, Anderson attended Washington Elementary School and East Topeka Junior High School before graduating with honors from Topeka High School in 1961. He entered the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York. While a cadet, Anderson spent two months in Uganda in 1964 with Operation Crossroads Africa. One of only four African Americans to graduate from West Point in 1965, he earned his B.S. degree in math and engineering and his commission as a second lieutenant. In 1972 and 1973, Anderson received master's degrees in political science and in African area studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1977. He graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University Business School in 1984.

An officer in the 82nd Airborne Division, Anderson served two tours of duty with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam earning two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars, three Army Commendation Medals and eleven Air Medals. As an infantry platoon leader, he was featured in Pierre Schoendoerffer’s 1966 Oscar winning documentary, The Anderson Platoon. He served as aide-de-camp to two generals and taught as an assistant social sciences professor at West Point. He reached the rank of major before resigning his commission in 1978.

Selected as a White House Fellow in 1977, Anderson served as a special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Juanita Kreps. In 1979, he joined the Pontiac Motors Division of General Motors Corporation and, in 1990, he served as the general director of the company’s body hardware business unit. From 1992 to 1993, Anderson was the president and chief executive officer of auto parts manufacturer, Composite Energy Management Systems. He later served as the chairman and chief executive officer of Chivas Industries until 2002. He then joined TAG Holdings as chairman and chief executive officer. A board member of Quaker Chemical Corporation and ArvinMeritor, Anderson is also chairman of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association and director of the Society of Automobile Engineers Foundation. He also sits on the board of many non-profit organizations, including the Beaumont Foundation, Kettering University, Horizons-Upward Bound, Focus: Hope and the National Recreation Foundation.

Joseph Anderson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 6, 2005 and on June 11, 2010.

See how Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr.'s interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his father, Joseph Anderson, Sr.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his parents and his likeness to them
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his neighborhood in Topeka, Kansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his childhood activities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. remembers his parents' photography business
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes himself as a young man
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes segregation in Topeka, Kansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. recalls Washington Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. recalls traveling with his father to California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. talks about his family in Santa Ana, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes himself as a teenager
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. remembers his mentors as a teenager
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. remembers the natural dangers in Topeka, Kansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. recalls his activities at Topeka High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. explains how he got involved in the military
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. recalls racism at West Point's United States Military Academy
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his activities at West Point's United States Military Academy, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his activities at West Point's United States Military Academy, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. remembers traveling to Uganda in 1964
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. remembers being filmed for the documentary 'La Section Anderson'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his stance on the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his experience in the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. remembers being the only black officer in his battalion
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes the film 'Le Section Anderson'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes combat in Vietnam
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his second tour in the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. recounts his career after the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr.'s interview, session 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. recalls attending the University of California Los Angeles
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes the atmosphere at the University of California Los Angeles
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his experience as a returning Vietnam War veteran
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes teaching at West Point's United States Military Academy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. recalls his experience as a White House Fellow
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes the White House Fellowship program
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. recalls transitioning from the military to private industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his quality control work at General Motors Corporation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. elaborates on the evolution of manufacturing from the 1960s to 2010
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. reflects on a scandal at General Motors
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. recalls his time as director of quality control at General Motors
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. recalls changes in the automobile industry in the 1980s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. remembers working as a plant manager for General Motors
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes being one of the first black plant managers at General Motors Company
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his leadership positions at General Motors
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. remembers his decision to leave General Motors
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. remembers his experience as a company owner
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his businesses and leadership
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his future plans
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes the competitiveness of the American automobile industry
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes his volunteer activities
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. talks about his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. reflects upon his opportunities
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Joseph Benjamin Anderson, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered