US oil executive and environmentalist. Anderson created Atlantic Richfield (ARCO, part of UK oil company BP since 2000) in 1966 after the merger of the Atlantic Refining and Richfield Petroleum oil companies. In the 1980s he spoke out prominently on environmental issues, including the dangers of global warming, and was believed to be the largest individual land owner in the USA, with ranches totalling 1 million acres. He retired from ARCO in 1986 to form an independent oil and gas company, Hondo Oil & Gas in New Mexico. He remained active in oil and gas exploration, as well as other business ventures, until his death in December 2007. He was also a conservative Republican and presidential adviser.
Anderson bought Malco Refineries, Inc., in 1941, merging the company with the Philadelphia-based Atlantic Refining Co. in 1962. After the merger with Richfield, he became CEO of ARCO which, through a series of acquisitions, became the 12th largest US corporation. He also served on a number of boards of private and non-profit organizations, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Chase Manhattan Bank, Columbia Broadcasting System, Pan American Airlines, First National Bank of Chicago, Weyerhaeuser Company, Carter Hawley Hale Stores, Inc., National Petroleum Council, and the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management. In addition, he served as chair of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies 1963–87, Worldwatch Institute, and International Institute for Environment and Development in London. Anderson received numerous awards for his efforts in support of public and charitable causes.