John B. Anderson

Republican Politician From Illinois
Political Party Republican Party
Religion Evangelical Free ...
Alma Mater Harvard Law Schoo...
Other Names Anderson, John B.

John Bayard Anderson is a former United States Congressman and Presidential candidate from Illinois. He was a U.S. Representative from the 16th Congressional District of Illinois for ten terms, from 1961 through 1981. Anderson was a Republican but ran as an independent candidate in the 1980 presidential election. He has been a political reform leader, including serving 12 years as chair of the board of FairVote.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of John B. Anderson.


1922 Birth Born on February 15, 1922.


1939 17 Years Old He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1939, and started law school, but his education was interrupted by World War II.


1943 21 Years Old He enlisted in the Army in 1943, and served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Field Artillery until the end of the war, receiving four battle stars.
1946 24 Years Old After the war, Anderson returned to complete his education, eventually earning a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1946. … Read More
1949 27 Years Old Soon after, Anderson moved east to attend Harvard Law School, obtaining a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in 1949. … Read More


1952 30 Years Old From 1952 to 1955, he served in Berlin as the Economic Reporting Officer in the Eastern Affairs Division, as an adviser on the staff of the United States High Commissioner for Germany. … Read More
1956 34 Years Old Soon after his return, Anderson was approached about running for public office. In 1956, Anderson was elected State's Attorney in Winnebago County, Illinois, first winning a four-person race in the April primary by 1300 votes and then the general election in November by 11,000 votes.
1959 37 Years Old After serving for one term, he was ready to leave that office when the local US Congressman unexpectedly stepped down in 1959. … Read More
1961 39 Years Old He served in the United States House of Representatives in the solidly Republican 16th District of Illinois for ten terms, from 1961 to 1981. … Read More


1964 42 Years Old In 1964, he won appointment to a seat on the powerful Rules Committee.
1969 47 Years Old In 1969, he became Chairman of the House Republican Conference, the number three position in the House Republican hierarchy in what was (at that time) the minority party. … Read More


1974 52 Years Old In 1974, he was re-elected in Rockford with the lowest percentage of his career. … Read More
1976 54 Years Old 1 More Event
And, when Gerald Ford was defeated in the 1976 Presidential campaign, Anderson lost a key ally in Washington. … Read More
1978 56 Years Old In 1978, he ran a true exploratory, finding little public or media interest.
1979 57 Years Old 1 More Event
Anderson postponed his decision to run, lost his campaign manager, and struggled to raise money, but in late April 1979 he made the decision to enter the Republican primary anyway, joining a crowded field that included Robert Dole, John Connally, Howard Baker, George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.
…  Anderson was a Republican but ran as an independent candidate in the 1980 presidential election. … Read More


1992 - 1996 2 More Events
2000 78 Years Old In the 2000 U.S. presidential election, he was briefly considered as possible candidate for the Reform Party nomination but instead endorsed Ralph Nader.
2008 86 Years Old In January 2008, Anderson indicated strong support for the candidacy of fellow Illinoisan, Democratic contender Barack Obama.
2012 90 Years Old In 2012, he played a role in the creation of the Justice Party, a progressive, social-democratic party organized to support the candidacy of former Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson (no relation) for the 2012 U.S. presidential election
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