Warren Anderson (1921 -2014) is an American businessman who was the chairman and CEO of the chemical company Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) at the time of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.
Warren Martin Anderson was born on Tuesday, 29 November 1921 (age 92 at death) in Brooklyn, New York City, United States. Growing up, he helped his father, a carpenter, install floors and deliver newspaper copies. Brooklyn Eagle. He won academic and sports scholarships to Colgate University in New York, where he majored in chemistry. While working for Union Carbide, he earned a law degree from Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve) in Cleveland, Ohio in 1956. His zodiac sign was Sagittarius.
Family and ethnicity
parents and siblings
His parents were Swedish immigrants who lived in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York City. His father worked as a carpenter in Brooklyn.
wife and children
His wife’s name is Lillian Anderson. They had no children.
Early career and joining Union Carbide
After his graduation in 1942, he joined the Navy and trained to become a fighter pilot, but he never saw combat. He played football for the Navy team, coached by the famous Bear Bryant. After his discharge, he visited various chemical companies and accepted the first job offered to him, which was at Union Carbide. He began his career as a salesman and eventually managed operations in Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. He held roles in the company’s chemicals, plastics, gases, metals and carbon divisions.
Anderson spent his life working hard to get ahead at Union Carbide. Before the crash, his main concern was that the company was not earning as much as he expected. In 1979, when he was president and chief operating officer, the company thought they would reach $13 billion in sales by 1983. But they only made about $9 billion, and profits dropped by more than 90 percent.
When he became chairman and chief executive in 1982, he made the company more efficient, increased sales and bought several other companies, including STP Oil. After this Union Carbide started getting reputation as a pollutant. Before the tragedy, Andersen was in charge of 700 plants in more than three dozen countries.
1984 Bhopal gas tragedy
On the night of 2–3 December 1984, a chemical accident occurred at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, exposing more than 500,000 people in small towns around the plant to the highly toxic gas methyl . Isocyanate (MIC). The tragedy is considered one of the world’s deadliest industrial accidents. More than half a million people were injured, of whom more than 3,000 died from diseases including lung cancer, kidney failure and liver disease.
It was reported that the disaster was a result of inadequate management and delayed maintenance. Anderson was accused of murder while he was the CEO of UCC and an FIR was lodged against him at Hanumanganj police station in Bhopal. He reached Bhopal four days after the accident and was immediately arrested. The same day, he was released on bail bond, flown to Delhi in a special government plane and allowed to leave the country. He never returned to India to face trial. It was alleged that he avoided extradition with the support of the United States government. In 1987, the CBI filed a charge sheet against Anderson and 11 other accused, including UCC (USA), Union Carbide (Eastern) Hong Kong and UCIL. In February 1989, the CJM, Bhopal, issued a non-bailable warrant against Anderson for repeatedly ignoring summons. The same year, Union Carbide paid $470 million to the Indian government to settle the lawsuit. However, many people in India, encouraged by politicians and the news media, never stopped urging the prosecution of Anderson. Arrest warrants were issued against him from time to time. In April 2002, survivors of the tragedy held a month-long protest in Delhi against the watering down of charges against Anderson.
In August 2009, an Indian court issued an arrest warrant for the former executive, Warren M. Anderson, and ordered the Indian government to press Washington for his extradition. Union Carbide defended them, saying that the managers of the company’s plant in Bhopal were not aware of the gas leak.
Retirement and later years
He escaped several summons from Indian courts by living quietly and migrating between his homes in Vero Beach, Greenwich, Connecticut and Bridgehampton, New York. He spent the last years of his life gardening and fishing with his wife. She also baked Swedish bread following an old family recipe.
On September 29, 2014, at the age of 92, Warren Anderson died in a nursing home in Vero Beach, Florida, US. At the time, he was wanted in India in connection with the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. Before his death, the Indian government had made several requests for his extradition and officially declared him a fugitive. An Indian judge even called him a fugitive. His death was not announced by his family, and went unnoticed until an article appeared in Vero Beach 32963, a weekly publication covering the Vero Beach barrier island.
- His parents named him Warren G. Named after Harding, who was the President at that time.
- A 1984 article in The Times stated that a paperweight on Anderson’s desk quoted his favorite Chinese proverb,
A leader is best when people barely know he exists.”