The Aspen Institute Mourns Robert O. Anderson (1917-2007)
In referring to Anderson, longtime Institute president David McLaughlin expressed it well: “As entrepreneur, visionary, environmentalist and humanist, [Anderson’s] expansive talents and inquisitive mind were imprinted on the Aspen agenda. Seldom in the history of philanthropy has the generosity of one family and individual had such a beneficial impact on a single organization and the society it serves.” During Anderson’s tenure as president and chairman, the Institute achieved numerous milestones, including hosting an interdisciplinary conference on climate change as early as 1962, launching the Society of Fellows in 1964, developing artist and scholar residency programs, establishing several of the Institute’s policy programs, and opening an idyllic campus on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Anderson was also considered a seminal figure in the oil industry, having served as CEO of the Atlantic Richfield Company for 17 years and as chairman for 21 years. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson ordered that flags were to fly at half-staff in his memory. Robert Anderson gave a great deal to the Institute and to our Aspen community over many years. Our thoughts are with his wife, Barbara, and his family.