Frank W. Anderson has one of the most remarkable life stories of any Canadian historian. As an orphan he grew up in foster homes, reform schools and jails. At 16 he was convicted of the murder of a prison guard and was sentenced to death. His sentence was commuted to life and, while serving his sentence, he became the first prisoner in Canada to take University courses and complete a Masters in Social Work from the University of Toronto in 1951.
He was appointed to the National Parole Board in 1974 where he served until his retirement. A significant contributor to the Canadian popular history genre Frank W. Anderson has authored or published well over 100 books in this field.