Goodbye to Terry Anderson - An American Hero

By D.A. King
Volume 20, Number 4 (Summer 2010)
Issue theme: "Remembering Terry Anderson"

A tribute to Terry Anderson, who died in July of 2010.

Also see this video of D.A. King speaking about his friend Terry Anderson, and this video tribute to Terry Anderson by Fred Elbel. 

Terry Anderson is gone.

Truly the embodiment of a “great American,” the irreplaceable and unforgettable warrior against illegal immigration — who had broadcast nearly 500 Sunday-night radio shows from ground zero of America’s uncontrolled immigration crisis — died in Los Angeles, July 7, 2010.

In what he unapologetically described as a sell-out by our government on border security and law enforcement — and an invasion by illegal aliens from the Third World — the pro-American voice of a very uncommon “common man” has been silenced not by the shameless hucksters in the open borders lobby, but by pancreatic and liver cancer.

It is America’s enormous loss.

For this long-time American, the brilliant and gentle Terry Anderson was a personal hero, an ever-encouraging mentor, and a dear friend and confidant. He was one of the bravest men I have ever met. As it was all over the country, the completely unexpected news of his death at age sixty was met here with shock and tearful sorrow. We are struggling to accept the unacceptable: we will never see Terry again.

Because of his fearless and unflinching willingness to speak truth to power — no matter what political affiliation, position, race, or ethnicity — no one who ever heard Terry speak can ever imagine that his passing will be mourned by any of the corrupt and treacherous elite he so effectively challenged and skewered.

Terry Anderson had all the right enemies. His was a life well lived.

In his weekly ‘Terry Anderson Radio Show,’ with tongue firmly in cheek, he titled a segment “The Most Horriblest Clown of the Week,” in which the astute news-hound would outline in very clear language the brazen, un-American deeds of the most recent subject of his always justified wrath.

As a citizen witness at a 2003 congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., the self-described “Prisoner of South Central” once rhetorically asked the committee for a list of American laws he could be allowed to ignore without fear of punishment, pointing out that the same privilege has apparently been extended to the resentful foreigners who have escaped unenthusiastic attempts at capture while illegally crossing America’s borders.

Terry Anderson’s message was never confusing or muted. He loved his country, insisted on being described as an American first and last, demanded an equal application of the law, and didn’t care who knew it.

While he never hesitated to go after the current open borders czar occupying the White House, one of my favorite unvarnished quotes from Terry was directed at the previous occupant: “While giving that ridiculous amnesty speech on how he’s going to guard our borders against illegal aliens…Bush looked as nervous as a whore in church.”

Terry’s courage and tireless work to preserve and protect his country will never be forgotten. Neither should the fact that he was a well-rounded, happy family man who was clever, curious, polite and humble, creative and knowledgeable on a wide variety of subjects that didn’t make it into his popular radio broadcast.

A dazzling authority on Hollywood movies, Terry could rattle off not only the year of release, producer, director, and cast of nearly any long-forgotten obscure film, but also the names of the characters and tell you which studio created the movie. One can still see some of the film reviews Terry proudly offered on his show’s Web site.

I once lost a friendly bet on who had originally recorded a ’60s Motown hit after sending Terry a homemade music CD. I had mismatched the artist and the song. It was indeed the Temptations and not the Four Tops. And I grew up in 1960s Detroit. Terry didn’t miss a thing.

Terry’s long-time friend and radio-show producer, Michael Wolner, tells a story about ever-curious Terry strolling through the Smithsonian Museum and accurately giving the history and caliber of many of the antique firearms on display…before ever seeing the explanatory placard.

Terry silently accepted the description of “auto mechanic” but was in reality an innovative and proud prize-winning craftsman in the California-style car customization scene. A daytime call to Terry with the question of “What’s up, pal?” would often be answered with a cheerful and detailed account of the engineering and tooling tribulations of getting a power-window motor and switch installed in a ’40s Mercury. Or making a custom-installed, automatic-opening, electrically powered hood work just perfectly on a ’63 Ford.

Terry Anderson was an unforgettable all-American hero and genuine character with a lightning wit and a marvelous sense of humor. And few of us have heard a more talented or powerfully impassioned public speaker.

Terry could be described as a fellow “foodie,” and for years we had an ongoing, friendly disagreement about the proper wrapper for the perfect fish taco. I take the flour tortilla side. Terry was firmly in the corn tortilla camp. The topic of food brings up the only possible negative note I can offer on the much-loved American champion.

As a perfect and entertaining houseguest here in Georgia several times, we could never get the Los Angelino to partake in the staple of all southern breakfasts. The man refused to eat grits.

Terry Anderson leaves behind a grieving family, his loving wife Melanie (Mel), and three sons, Brice, Adam, and Shawn. I spoke to Adam and Mel recently. For the entire heartbroken Anderson family, the shock and pain of the loss of beloved husband, father, and grandfather will take a great deal of time to heal.

Former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo was one of the many giants in the pro-enforcement immigration control movement who sadly noted Terry’s passing and did so with a poignant observation about our friend:

He was never invited to a state dinner in the White House, nor a beer summit in the Rose Garden, nor a televised conversation with Charlie Rose. He made no money from his radio program, and, in fact, he depended on gifts to stay on the air. It seems corporate advertisers in Los Angeles were extremely gun-shy when it came to affiliating openly with a black maverick who advocated passionately for the rule of law. That’s too controversial for Home Depot and In-and-Out Burger.

Rest in peace, Terry. We will take it from here. We are mad, and we are paying attention. Thank you.

Good-bye my friend.

About the author

D.A. King is president of the Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society, which actively advocates for secure borders and sustainable immigration. On the Web: