Hugh Anderson, Who Helped Shape Broward, Dies




Hugh A. Anderson, who helped shape today’s Broward as a member of the commission that drafted the county’s governing charter, died on Wednesday.

Anderson, 79, succumbed while recovering from surgery to remove a bladder tumor, according to a family friend.

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio where he was born May 22, 1935, Anderson was one of those thousands of young who fell in love with Fort Lauderdale during Spring Break and ended up moving here.

He met his future wife Linda Anderson in Fort Lauderdale. They went to the famed Elbo Room on the corner of A1A and Las Olas Boulevard on their first date, according to the Anderson family.

Hugh and Linda were later married and had five children.

A jovial real estate broker who owned Hugh Anderson Real Estate, he was one of the 15 members of the 1974 commission tasked with creating a new, more suitable government structure for a county that was quickly breaking with its rural past.

The new charter took the administrative powers away from commissioners and gave them to a strong professional administrator. It also expanded the commission from five to seven members and established a countywide land use planning agency.

Service on the charter commission propelled many of the members into leadership positions.

Among the other members were Ham Forman, the county’s leading real estate tycoon and political kingmaker at the time; Clay Shaw, later a member of Congress; Fred Lippman, who became a Democratic state House leader and Nova Southeastern University chancellor and Ken Jenne, a county commission and state Senate powerhouse who eventually became sheriff of Broward.

After voters approved the new charter in 1975, Anderson became a county commissioner.  He served from 1975-78.

Anderson then went into the very lucrative business of lobbying the county commission.  He specialized in identifying parcels of property that the county might be interesting in buying.

Years of wandering the halls of the Government Center gave him the inside knowledge of what real estate the county needed for everything from license tag agencies to libraries, parks and offices  He then sought to match the needs with his clients.  He was so successful in putting real estate deals with the county together that his nickname was the “Commission Realtor.”

Anderson was a founding member of the Boys & Girls Club of Broward County and was president of the Board in the past.  He also was a supporter of the United Way, where  he also served as chair.

Suffering from emphysema for many years, the last time I ate lunch with Anderson was about a year ago at the Capital Grill at the Galleria. The location was chosen because it was close enough to his home behind the shopping center to use a scooter to reach the restaurant and carry his oxygen tank.

At that lunch, Anderson continued to be interested in the twists and turns of county government, although he no longer took part.

Hugh Alexander Anderson – part of Broward history – will be missed.

Services are tentatively planned for 10 a.m. Saturday at the Church-by-the-Sea, 2700 Mayan Dr, Fort Lauderdale.


6 Responses to “Hugh Anderson, Who Helped Shape Broward, Dies”

  1. John Hart says:

    Buddy, Hugh was an especially dear friend. Most of my interactions with him were championing Boys and Girls Club projects, all in the interest of the kids and families that needed and deserved a chance. So much of Hugh’s shaping Broward came in his relentless, and quiet, desire to mold a better community. He was a special man.I will miss him greatly.


    John Hart is a former county commissioner.

  2. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:

    I served with Hugh on the Broward County Charter Commission years ago. He was a master at committee work, very smart and always a pleasure to be around. I am very sorry to hear of his passing. He will be missed.

  3. Lori Parrish says:

    A real loss. Funny, smart and good man.

  4. Sam Fields says:

    I ocasionally had lunch with Hugh over the last few years and regret that I did not do it more often.

    The stories were so funny

    Lori got it right.

  5. Eileen Steigerwald says:

    Don’t know if you remember me, I used to be Eileen Stephens, then Bono. I worked for Bob Whalen, Tom Christian, and then Jerry Thompson. I remember you from the County Commission. Glad to see you’re still reporting. I was very saddened to hear about Hugh. A few of us used to call him every year to “thank” him for getting rid of Columbus Day and President’s Day. And he used to send me (and others) a live Christmas wreath every year. Anyway, I have fond memories of both you and Hugh. Thanks for reporting!


    Of course, I remember you. Thanks for writing and for your contribution to

  6. Jack Moss says:

    Hugh was always a gentleman, and had the art of being able to disagree without being disagreeable. Pleasant and kind with a warm wit … I miss him.