That being in the right place at the right time can make you wealthy is no joke. Monroe Dunaway Anderson moved to the right place and at the right time to become a top cotton broker in Houston, Texas.
Born during late Reconstruction in the southern town of Jackson, Tennessee to a banker father, Monroe attended college and learned the banking business.
Monroe’s brother, Frank Anderson, went west to Oklahoma in pursuit of fortune. Frank became a cotton trader. In 1904, Frank persuaded brother Monroe to put up capital for a new business buying and selling cotton.
In 1907, Monroe relocated to Houston for the deeper pockets of funding created by the Texas oil boom. Their business, Anderson, Clayton and Co., took off in 1914 with the opening of the Houston Shipping Channel, a sea way to the world. Anderson, Clayton and Co. became the largest exporter of cotton.
Upon his death in 1939, the never married Monroe Dunaway Anderson left behind a tidy thrift of $19 million to a family foundation. Trustees of the foundation used the money to seed a specialized center of medicine named for its benefactor, the MD Anderson Hospital for Cancer Research of The University of Texas, or just MD Anderson as it is commonly called throughout the world.