Born in Brooklyn, New York, George W. Anderson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1927.
He became a naval aviator in 1930 and then served in aviation units on board cruisers.
He flew in fighting and patrol squadrons during the 1930s and on board USS Yorktown.
During World War II, Anderson served as a staff officer in the Bureau of Aeronautics
and than as a navigator on USS Yorktown, namesake of the carrier lost in the Battle of
After the war, he worked as an assistant to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander,
Europe, headquartered in Paris. Anderson commanded aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt
and then served as Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
His flag assignments included Chief of Staff to Commander in Chief, Pacific Command,
Commander Carrier Division Six, and Commander Sixth Fleet. He was Chief of Naval Operations
during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The fleet's quarantine of Cuba enabled the Kennedy
administration to compel the Soviet Union to remove its nuclear weapons from the island.
After retirement from the Navy, he served as Ambassador to Portugal and later as Chairman
of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.