WHO'S WHO - MONROE D. ANDERSON
Monroe D. Anderson a native Mississippian, co-founded Houston’s Anderson, Clayton & Co., which became the world’s largest cotton merchandiser at a time when cotton was king. Monroe Anderson moved to Houston in 1907 to gain access to larger banks and the nearby Port of Galveston. The company moved its headquarters there in 1916.
Anderson, born in 1873, grew up in the South when money was scarce and learned to be frugal out of necessity. His contributions to the company were his banking connections and thorough understanding of finance. His nephew Thomas D. Anderson said, "He was a whiz at the management and deployment of money. He knew when to borrow and when to pay back."
Anderson, Clayton & Co. no longer exists as a major corporation or family enterprise, having been a victim of the merger-and-acquisition frenzy of the late 1980s. A former subsidiary, Anderson Clayton Foods, still operates out of North Texas.
The organization contributed to a variety of religious, charitable, and educational institutions. Recipients include Johns Hopkins University, Tufts University, and the University of Texas.
In 1936, Anderson established the M.D. Anderson Foundation. Initially funded with $300,000, it received $19 million more after his death. Today it is called the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Anderson died in 1939 at age 66.