Henry Hill "Harry" Anderson Jr.

June 2, 1921 - May 11, 2020

New York, New York

Henry H. Anderson, Jr. has been yachting’s predominant international statesman for more than 60 years. At the age of 15, he went on his first Bermuda Race. At 17, he watched his family’s friend, Mike Vanderbilt, win the last America’s Cup held in the J-Class. In 1958, Anderson was involved in renewing the Cup in 12 Metres. As a representative of the New York Yacht Club, he hosted President and Mrs. Eisenhower on the America’s Cup race course. For more than 20 years, he was an America’s Cup race official. (In 2013, at age 92, Anderson would twitch his moustache at the Cup multihull event going on in San Francisco). There is nary a noteworthy body of water upon which Anderson has not competed or officiated, a smart waterfront tavern where he has not raised a glass. Presidents and royals take his calls. Communicator, problem solver, philanthropist, and fun-loving friend, sailors – from hall of famers and CEOs to captains — know him as Harry.

Anderson experienced the Great Depression of the early 1930s as a pre-teen, survived World War II as field artillery captain, was instrumental in introducing the Finn and Raven classes to the United States, and witnessed the initial loss of the America’s Cup in 1983, although it was after his watch as Commodore of the New York Yacht Club. Anderson has always seen sailing as education, and has tirelessly supported and promoted it, whether as US Sailing director, college sailing advocate, Congressional Cup judge, or advisor to a wide range of sailing organizations. Anderson chaired US Sailing’s Appeals Committee for 25 years. He has been flag officer of nine different yacht clubs.

Anderson’s philanthropies include the Ransom Everglades School in Florida, his alma mater, where he is a trustee for life. His name appears on the school’s gymnasium and sailing center. He has long been involved as a champion of Yale (class of ’42) and University of Rhode Island sailing programs, having donated several fleets of boats, raised funds for sailing facilities, and as an advisor.

A longtime resident of Newport, Rhode Island, Commodore Anderson has sat on the boards of Tall Ships Newport (ASTA), Seamen’s Church Institute, the U.S. Naval War College, the Rhode Island Marine Archeology Project, and the Foundation for the Preservation of Captain Cook’s Ships.

– Roger Vaughan

Photo credit: Dan Nerney

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