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For week ended April 09, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 08Apr00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

LDS Columnist Jack Anderson's Legacy Continues Through His Children
Salt Lake Tribune 3Apr00 P2
By Paul Rolly: Salt Lake Tribune

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Salt Lake City Attorney Kevin Anderson and his sister, Cheri Loveless of Orem, have many fond memories growing up with one of the nation's most famous reporters, Jack Anderson. Jack and Olivia Anderson are the parents of nine children and two of them have returned to the state where their father spent his formative years being a newspaper reporter.

Anderson recently visited Utah to receive the Distinguished Service to Journalism Award from Utah State University where the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist has begun a research and educational foundation. Anderson is the 77-year-old author of the syndicated "Washington Merry-Go-Round" column and current author of "Peace, War, and Politics: An Eyewitness Account". The book is a compilation of memoirs of his career.

Son, Kevin and daughter, Cheri, have some memories of their own. They watched the daily routine of undercover FBI agents staked outside of the family home in suburban Washington, D.C., trying to spy on their father. Kevin was able to spot the difference between a two-way radio antenna that was being disguised as a regular AM radio reciver. "They were like the Keystone Kops," said Kevin.

"We would see the FBI agents sitting in their cars in our neighborhood, so we would go out and take pictures of them," said Kevin. "It was a lot of fun, but I don't think they enjoyed it." "There was a report of an unidentified female who would approach the surveillance car, with diagrams showing the position of the car and the position of the unidentified female," Anderson said. The "unidentified female" turned out to be Kevin, who as a 1970's teenager, sported a ponytail.

Cheri Loveless was a sophomore in college and studying in France at the time of the Watergate investigation. Cheri had an early interest in writing and editing. Journalism may have seemed like a natural choice. "Being Jack Anderson's daughter can be very wearing," she said. "I just didn't think I could live up to the name if I went into the same profession."

All the Anderson's nine children worked in their father's office as file clerks, copy editors and doing whatever needed to be done. The rest of the Anderson children live in the Washington D.C. area. "It's like two clubs," says Anderson, who boasts of 35 grandchildren. "There is the Washington group and the Utah group." "When Kevin moved to Utah, I wanted to think it was some deep urging to get close to his family roots," Anderson smiled. "Then he confessed that it was because of the skiing."

On the cover of Jack Anderson's 1967 book, Washington Expose, he talked about the threats he had received during a series of columns he wrote exposing organized crime in the 1950's. Threats had been made not only on his life, but that of his wife and children. "I had no idea," Loveless said. "That was a shock." Anderson sat atop the infamous "Enemies List", held by then President Richard Nixon. He was the subject of 11 investigations by government agencies who were trying to uncover his sources.

"Every government agency with any kind of enforcement power was investigating me," Anderson said during the Watergate period. "It keeps you pretty righteous, knowing you are constantly being watched. You make sure you don't do anything wrong," joked Kevin, a former Mormon missionary. He remembers sitting at the kitchen table with his father and other famous journalists. "It was fascinating to watch the Senate Watergate hearings on television, then sit and listen to my dad talk about the same issues as one of the insiders gathering the information later discussed at the hearings."


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Peace, War, and Politics
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