William (Bill) Averette Anderson was born on May 28, 1937 in Akron, Ohio. His mother’s maiden name was Ruby Browner, and his father was William Warren Anderson.
We were fortunate enough to have Bill’s full life story captured in Connections, The 2011 The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) Oral History Series, William A. Anderson. Robert Reitherman was the interviewer.
An excerpt from Bill’s interview on life in Akron:
“I grew up in Akron, Ohio and went to grade school, junior high and high school there. We lived on Lods Street. I was born in a house on a street about two blocks from where I spent most of my childhood. This was the North side of Akron, which at one point had a lot of Italians, but they had moved to another section of town, North Hill.
We lived on the banks of the Little Cuyahoga River, a branch of the same river that runs through Cleveland. That river became newsworthy when many years ago it was said to have caught fire from all the pollution in it.
My parents separated when I was very young. I have a sister, Janice, who is three years younger. We went to live with my maternal grandparents, George and Roxie Browner. They had migrated some years before from a small town in Georgia called Elberton. They came to Ohio during the great migration of blacks to the Northern cities prior to the Second World War – looking for jobs, greater freedom and a better quality of life.”