David C. Anderson, 62, author on criminal justice


David C. Anderson, a journalist, writer, social activist and Quaker, died on Sept. 15 surrounded by his family at Cabrini Hospital Hospice. The cause of death was cancer. He was 62 years old. A resident of Greenwich Village, Anderson served for 12 years, until 1993, on the editorial board of The New York Times, and most recently as director of communications of the Ford Foundation.

A strong and vocal advocate of gun control, prison reform, court reform and civil rights, Anderson wrote four well-received books: “Sensible Justice: Alternatives to Prison” (1998), “Crime and the Politics of Hysteria: How the Willie Horton Story Changed American Justice” (1995), “Crimes of Justice: Improving the Police, the Courts, the Prisons” (1988) and “Children of Special Value: Interracial Adoption in America” (1971) and co-authored with his son Thomas “The No-Salt Cookbook: Reduce or Eliminate Salt Without Sacrificing Flavor” (2001). A committed Quaker, he was a trustee of the New York Quarterly Meeting, and served as minister and counsel to the Brooklyn Monthly Meeting. In addition, he was a devoted member of the board of trustees of the Mary McDowell Center for Learning, in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Anderson was born in Washington, D.C., grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y., and graduated from Oberlin College in 1964 with a degree in English. After serving for three years in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica, he joined the Wall Street Journal, beginning his long and successful career as a newspaper reporter, article writer and later editorial writer.

He leaves his wife of 15 years, Elizabeth Burke Gilmore, a member of Community Board 2 and the board of directors of Friends of Hudson River Park; his children, Mary Walker Anderson, Michael Ebert Anderson, Sarah Bennett Anderson, Thomas David Anderson, Elspeth Michaela Burke Gilmore and William Wallace Burke Gilmore; three grandchildren; his mother, Virginia Ebert Anderson, of Rye, N.Y.; and a brother and sister-in-law, Joel and Carol Anderson. His first marriage, to Mary Walker Anderson, ended in divorce; together, they adopted four children.

There will be a Memorial Meeting on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. at the Brooklyn Meeting House (Religious Society of Friends/Quakers) 110 Schermerhorn St. (corner Boerum Pl.), Brooklyn.

The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, contributions in David Anderson’s name be made to any of the following three organizations, all of which he strongly supported: Mary McDowell Center for Learning, 20 Bergen St., Brooklyn, N.Y., 11201; Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, 1023 15th St. N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C., 20005; Columbia Land Conservancy, P.O. Box 299, Chatham, N.Y., 12037.