Lee Anderson

Lee Stratton Anderson (b. Dec. 15, 1925 d. June 16, 2016) received the Silver Beaver Award in 1994 and the National Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in 2003.  As a Boy Scout at age 13, he attained the rank of Eagle Scout.


Mr. Anderson was the former publisher and editor of the Chattanooga Free Press and one of the longest-serving newspapermen in the nation.  He began a 70-year career at the Chattanooga Free Press where he was hired as a reporter at age 16 when World War II had decimated the newsroom's staff. Over the years he wrote feature stories and worked every news assignment from police to business to courts, before covering the Tennessee Legislature and politics at all levels of government, including five national presidential conventions.


He was named editor of the Free Press in April 1958, after writing many of the editorials as associate editor since 1948. Mr. Anderson was named president and publisher of the Chattanooga Free Press in June 1990.  Following the sale of the afternoon Chattanooga Free Press in 1998 and its merger with the morning Chattanooga Times in 1999, he continued as editor of the Free Press editorial page.


He traveled the world, often to global hot spots, returning with news accounts for his readers. He was a civilian guest on a Navy tour when the Cuban missile crisis occurred in 1962. His ship became a part of the U.S. Navy's blockade of Communist Cuba. He was taken aboard a Navy destroyer escort in the middle of the night to be returned to the United States. His stories were the first eyewitness news accounts from that naval blockade.


Born in Trenton, Kentucky, he lived in Nashville from age 2 to 4 and became a Chattanoogan in 1930.  As a boy he carried a newspaper route.  On two occasions as a youth, he won Sons of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Awards.   Mr. Anderson attended Glenwood Elementary School, where he started a school paper. He attended Brainerd Junior High, and was a 1943 graduate of Chattanooga High School, where he served on the school newspaper. He was the band drum major and was a captain in the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.  He graduated from the University of Chattanooga in three years, interrupted by 21 months of service in the Air Force Aviation Cadet Program.


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