Peggy Anderson

Answer one question or many - using words, photos or other media.

What crises has Peggy faced?

Ned Berke
Her father, Wilbert Anderson, was running a plumbing and heating company in 1970 when he was murdered during a robbery there. Anderson was 32 at the time. She was working on a book about the murder when she passed away.
Ned Berke
Before Nurse, Anderson struggled financially.

Even with her first novel, The Daughters, she found little footing. Though well-reviewed, it was a financial failure, providing only the $2,500 advance.

"She lived on bean soup and used to count how many squeezes she could get out of a toothpaste tube," agent Jay Acton told People magazine in 1980.

How would Peggy most want to be remembered?

Ned Berke
"Retired [Inquirer] columnist William J. Speers, who met Ms. Anderson when they worked at The Inquirer in the late 1960s, said she was witty, a good listener, and fun to be with.

"'She had such a lively mind,' he said."

Ned Berke
From the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Peggy had a very full life, but she was always available when we needed her," said David Sullivan, assistant managing editor for editing, standards, and operations. "She could handle all types of news and features stories with equal skill. When she first came to work for us, a colleague said, 'That's the Peggy Anderson of Nurse?'

"I had no idea she was well-known nationally and wondered if she was going to have trouble with being part of a copy desk. On the contrary, she fit right in as part of the team from the beginning," Sullivan said.


What are some of the significant places Peggy lived?

Ned Berke
Peggy was born in Oak Park, IL on July 14, 1938. She graduated from Augustana College in Rock Island. She spent two years in Togo, in West Africa, when she entered the Peace Corps in the late 1960s. She moved to Philadelphia soon after, eventually working as a reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer after a stint at the Washington Monthly. She spent the rest of her life in Philadelphia.

Anderson lived on Lombard Street in Philadelphia for most of her adult life. (Source: Google Maps)

Jan 22, 2016

What did Peggy love?

Ned Berke
Anderson loved cooking and entertaining, as well as attending the theater and movies, said Mary Walton, a longtime friend.


What historic event or moment had the biggest impact on Peggy?

Ned Berke
Inspired by the rise of John F. Kennedy, Anderson spent two years in the West African nation of Togo with the Peace Corps in the early 1960s.

"She was a true believer" in President John F. Kennedy and that "young people were going to change the world," said Inquirer columnist and friend William J. Speers. (Source:

What were the most life-changing moments for Peggy?

Ned Berke
"She really bloomed when she got to Augustana," said Pauline Fehlman, a former admissions director and friend of Anderson's. "She was the editor of the college newspaper, The Observer, and a frequent contributor to its magazine, Saga. She clearly had an interest in publishing and writing." (Source:

What were Peggy's greatest passions?

Ned Berke
"(Peggy) told the stories of real-life patients and health providers," friend Maureen Carroll said, "to illuminate and humanize critical matters in health care." (Source:

If you could send Peggy a message now, what would you say?

What made Peggy laugh?

What will you miss most about Peggy?

What did you learn from Peggy?

What do you most want people in the future to know about Peggy?