Allen Gustav Anderson was born January 31, 1908 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His father was John Bernard Anderson, born 1884 in Pennsylvania of Swedish ancestry. His mother was Anna M. Lewis, born 1887 in Connecticut of German ancestry. He was the younger of two sons. His older brother was Richard, born 1906 in Minneapolis. They lived at 2639 Upton Avenue.
His father was a professional cook at a prominent local hotel, The Radisson, which grew to become a corporate hotel chain.
He studied correspondence art courses at The Federal Schools, Inc. of Minneapolis and received his certificate diploma in 1928.
He worked as a staff artists at Fawcett Publications in Minneapolis from 1929 to 1939, where he met Carl Buettner, Ralph Carlson, and his lifelong best friend, Norman Saunders. Anderson's early painting style was strongly influenced by Saunders, but Allen Anderson soon developed his own distinctive style.
He moved to New York City in 1940 and painted covers for pulp magazine published by Ace Magazines, Fiction House, Harry Donenfeld, and Martin Goodman.
He married first wife, Aline, in 1942.
Anderson joined the Navy in WW2 and was an instructor at a naval training camp in Upstate NY, where he taught sign painting.
He divorced after the war and resumed his freelance career painting pulp covers.
Anderson also painted comic book covers for Ziff-Davis from 1949 to 1953.
He failed to find any interest in a syndicated comic strip and animated series that he designed named Pinky Pete. It was based on a character like Tom Thumb, who lived in the Wild West and was named Pinky Pete.
In 1953 Anderson married his second wife, Joan, and moved to Tillson, NY to open a small ad agency and sign painter.
Allen Anderson died at age 87 of heart problems on October 23, 1995.
© David Saunders 2009