Remembering Dr. John A Anderson Sr: Part 1

September 24, 2018 Richard Green DDS MBA

I was asked to write an article about Dr. John A. Anderson, Sr., one of two men who said “yes” to stepping up in November 1970 to co-create The Pankey Institute. As I put together a timeline of his life, I noticed the import of his early life experiences, many of which commonly shape a person’s Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.

These qualities are often found in boundary pushers, leaders, and dentists committed to continuing their education throughout their lives. They do so while folding their learning back into their practice of dentistry for the benefit of others.

I first met Dr. Anderson in December 1956 when he and his family were visiting cousins. They attended a Christmas choral concert at our church in Hinsdale, IL. I was a freshman in high school at the time.

As I was introduced, I can remember his handshake and warm greeting. When he heard I wanted to be a dentist and go to Northwestern University Dental School, his words were very encouraging.

Life Experiences That Shaped Dr. Anderson’s Life

Dr. Anderson was born November 18, 1919 in Wonju, Korea. His parents Dr. A. G. and Hattie Anderson were medical missionaries – Hattie had a teaching degree. John’s schooling occurred at Pyongyang Academy in Korea.

John was sent to the USA to continue his education with two years at Baldwin-Wallace College, OH. In the fall of 1938 he entered Northwestern University Dental School (NUDS). He then graduated three years later in 1941.

John became a Clinical Instructor at NUDS from the summer of ’41 to the summer of ’42. After marrying his wife Eleanor in ’42, he was commissioned in the Army Air Corps, Dental Division and sent to India. After returning from India, where he contracted malaria, John recovered and was released from active duty.

He opened his first practice on N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL in 1945. His uncle was a dentist in the area of Chicago called “Andersonville” due to the large population of Swedish immigrants.

While he and Eleanor lived in Andersonville they had three children: Denise ’47, Jay ’49, and Jill ’53.

Keep an eye out for Part 2 in this story of a Pankey founder …

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About Author

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Richard Green DDS MBA

Rich Green, D.D.S., M.B.A. is the founder and Director Emeritus of The Pankey Institute Business Systems Development program. He retired from The Pankey Institute in 2004. He has created Evergreen Consulting Group, Inc., to continue his work encouraging and assisting dentists in making the personal choices that will shape their practices according to their personal vision of success to achieve their preferred future in dentistry. Rich Green received his dental degree from Northwestern University in 1966. He was a early colleague and student of Bob Barkley in Illinois. He had frequent contact with Bob Barkley because of his interest in the behavioral aspects of dentistry. Rich Green has been associated with The Pankey Institute since its inception, first as a student, then as a Visiting Faculty member beginning in 1974, and finally joining the Institute full time in 1994. While maintaining his practice in Hinsdale, IL, Rich Green became involved in the management aspects of dentistry and, in 1981, joined Selection Research Corporation (an affiliate of The Gallup Organization) as an associate. This relationship and his interest in management led to his graduation in 1992 with a Masters in Business Administration from the Keller Graduate School in Chicago.

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