The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Marion Anderson

Share on Social Media

Information about Marion Anderson

Profile image of Marion Anderson

Profession

Category:
StyleMakers
Occupation(s):
Master Tailor
Tailoring Instructor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Roasted Chicken, Fish, Macaroni, Cheese
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Africa, Europe
Favorite Quote:
The Highest Value Of Work Is Not That You Earn But What You Become.

Birthplace

Born:
4/18/1926
Birth Location:
Charleston, South Carolina

Profession

Category:
StyleMakers
Occupation(s):
Master Tailor
Tailoring Instructor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Roasted Chicken, Fish, Macaroni, Cheese
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Africa, Europe
Favorite Quote:
The Highest Value Of Work Is Not That You Earn But What You Become.

Birthplace

Born:
4/18/1926
Birth Location:
Charleston
See how Marion Anderson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Master tailor and tailoring instructor Marion William Anderson was born to Ethel and William Anderson on April 18, 1926, in Charleston, South Carolina. Ethel Anderson was a beautician and William Anderson was a presser. Anderson's mother encouraged him to pursue a trade at Burke Industrial High School in Charleston. In 1947, after serving the U.S. Army in Asia for a few months, he graduated from high school, majoring in tailoring. In 1949, Anderson moved to Harlem, New York, in order to look for work. After a few jobs in industrial tailoring, Anderson pursued a teaching career.

After refining his skills at the American Gentleman School of Designing, he started teaching at the Empire Trade School, a school that catered to African American World War II veterans. In 1956, Anderson began instructing prisoners in the tailor shop on Rikers Island. Four years later, he convinced the New York City Board of Education to create a tailoring curriculum, and he was hired at Sterling High School in Brooklyn, New York, where he would teach tailoring for thirty-three years. Anderson was the first African-American to be licensed by the City of New York to teach tailoring.

In 1987, Anderson founded his own school, the Manhattanville Needle Trade School, in Harlem. In 2007, Anderson celebrated his twentieth year as the director at the school. During his lengthy career, he tailored suits for many members of the Harlem elite, and taught a valuable trade to hundreds in Harlem and New York City.

Anderson passed away on February 14, 2015 at age 88.

See how Marion Anderson is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marion Anderson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marion Anderson lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marion Anderson describes his clothing designs
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marion Anderson describes his mother's family background and career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marion Anderson describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marion Anderson describes his homes in Charleston, South Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marion Anderson describes his parents' professions
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marion Anderson remembers his schooling
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marion Anderson recalls celebrating the holidays
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Marion Anderson describes his start as a tailor
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Marion Anderson remembers his first tailoring position
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Marion Anderson recalls his mentor at Burke Industrial High School in Charleston, South Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Marion Anderson remembers being drafted into the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marion Anderson describes his reenlistment in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marion Anderson talks about his marriage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marion Anderson describes his position as a cook in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marion Anderson describes his experiences as a tailor at John Rugheimer, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marion Anderson describes his experiences as a tailor at John Rugheimer, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marion Anderson recalls managing Berlin's in Charleston, South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marion Anderson remembers working at the Popular Manufacturing Company, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marion Anderson remembers working at the Popular Manufacturing Company, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marion Anderson recalls his decision to attend the American Gentleman School of Design in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marion Anderson talks about New York City's garment industry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marion Anderson describes the American Gentlemen School of Design in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marion Anderson remembers teaching at the Empire Trade School in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marion Anderson recalls serving as a trade instructor at the Rikers Island prison in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marion Anderson recalls teaching at P.S. 85 Sterling High School in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marion Anderson remembers founding the Manhattanville Needle Trade School in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marion Anderson describes his curriculum at the Manhattanville Needle Trade School, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marion Anderson describes his curriculum at the Manhattanville Needle Trade School, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marion Anderson recalls his decision to attend Adelphi University in Garden City, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marion Anderson talks about teaching his sons to sew
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marion Anderson talks about his daughters' education and careers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marion Anderson reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marion Anderson narrates his photographs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marion Anderson describes his garden