Warren M. Anderson, 91, a 1940 Albany Law School graduate and longtime Republican leader in the New York State Senate, died from heart failure on June 1, in Binghamton, N.Y.
Anderson graduated from Colgate University in 1937 and after graduating from Albany Law, was an assistant county attorney in Broome County, served in the Army in World War II and then joined the firm Hinman, Howard & Kattell in 1949. He became a partner in 1952, a position he maintained until his death.
In 1952, he was elected to a State Senate seat that had been held by his father, Floyd E. Anderson, who became a State Supreme Court justice. Anderson served 36 years in the State Senate, a leadership tenure unsurpassed in the history of the State Senate. In 1973 he was elected President Pro Tem and Majority Leader of the Senate, a position he held until his retirement in 1988. While he is credited with having a leadership role in the effort to save New York City from bankruptcy in 1975, one of his lesser known legislative accomplishments in which he took pride was chairmanship of the committee which rewrote New York's Business Corporation Law.
Anderson was a member of the Advisory Committee of Albany Law School's Government Law Center, which hosts the Warren M. Anderson Legislative Breakfast Seminar series—a program that takes place during the legislative session on topics of interest to legislators and other policymakers. He also helped to create New York's Tuition Assistance Program and was a strong supporter of the SUNY school system, including Binghamton University.
Anderson's first wife, Eleanor, died in 1996. He is survived by his second wife, the former Ruth W. Bennett, whom he married in 2001; four sons from his first marriage, W. David, of Darien, Conn.; Lawrence C., of Castle Creek, N.Y.; Richard S., of Hillcrest, N.Y.; and Thomas B., of Marblehead, Mass.; and seven grandchildren.
A public memorial service in his honor will be held at 10 a.m. on June 15, at the First Presbyterian Church, 42 Chenango St., Binghamton, N.Y. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either the Warren M. Anderson Scholarship Fund, c/o Colgate University, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, N.Y. 13346; Binghamton Boys and Girls Club, 257 Washington Avenue, Binghamton, N.Y. 13901; or the local charity of your choice.
New York Times article on Warren M. Anderson '40, June 2, 2007