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Frederick Woodley Anderson was born on April 21, 1920 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan to Edward and Leila (Woodley) Anderson. He received his primary and secondary education in Moose Jaw and attended the University of Saskatchewan, where he earned Bachelor of Arts (1948) and Master of Arts (1949) degrees. Anderson also studied at the London School of Economics.
Anderson's career as a teacher and administrator began in 1951, when he accepted a position as special lecturer in Economics and Political Science at Regina College. Anderson subsequently held various positions at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus and the University of Regina as follows: assistant professor of economics (1954-1962); associate professor of economics (1962-1965); professor of economics (1966-1983); associate Dean of Arts and Sciences (Social Sciences) (1969-1975) ; acting chairman of the Department of Anthropology (1972-1975) and coordinator of the Canadian Plains Studies Program (1977-1983). Anderson retired from the University of Regina in 1983.
Throughout his career, Anderson participated in many studies and commissions on transportation policy in Canada and abroad. He served as secretary and director of research for the federal Royal Commission on Transportation (1959-1961) and was the first president of the Western Transportation Advisory Council. Anderson served as a consultant and advisor to numerous government and private organizations, published on the topic and addressed numerous transportation related conferences, symposia, and inquiries.
Anderson died in Regina on September 5, 2009.
Anderson married Betty Ashton of Moose Jaw in 1943. The Andersons had one son, William.