Anderson, Albert Wesley (1907–86), industrialist and politician, was born 23 July 1907 in Derry city, elder son and second among four children of Sir Robert Newton Anderson of Derry, industrialist and politician, and his wife Lydia Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Elliott Smith, banker, and Isabel Smith (née Brown), of Dublin. He was educated at Rydal School, north Wales; Foyle College, Derry; and the University of Nottingham. His father died only weeks before he was due to take his final year examinations at Nottingham, and he returned to run the family's hosiery businesses in Derry and Letterkenny. He joined the Royal Naval Reserve, served in the navy during the second world war, was mentioned in dispatches in 1944, and reached the rank of lieutenant commander before leaving the navy in 1946. He first entered public life when he became a councillor in Derry in 1961, and later served as the city's mayor in 1963–8. As mayor of Derry (1963–8) he was an ex-officio member of the Northern Ireland senate. When Coleraine was chosen over Derry's Magee College as the site for Northern Ireland's second university, Anderson and nationalist MP Eddie McAteer (qv) travelled together in the mayoral car to government buildings at Stormont as part of a large motorcade protest on 19 February 1965. The protest failed, and it appears that Anderson was hoodwinked by a group of unionist businessmen in the city who had helped to conspire against Magee's claims. Anderson later produced an apparently forged letter which appeared in the pro-unionist Londonderry Sentinel on 22 February 1967, claiming that a working committee of the civil rights movement had found no evidence of anti-catholic discrimination in Derry corporation. He resigned his mayoralty in 1968 and successfully contested the 16 May by-election for the constituency of Londonderry city to the Stormont parliament, easily defeating his NILP opponent, Janet V. Wilcock. When in October 1968 the government established a commission to examine the possible existence of discrimination in Derry corporation, he welcomed the move as courageous, but did not admit there had been discrimination in the city. Under the influence of hard-line elements in Derry, Anderson opposed the reforms of the prime minister, Terence O'Neill (qv), and on 3 February 1969 he was one of twelve backbench unionist MPs who held a private meeting at the Seagoe Hotel in Portadown, Co. Armagh, to discuss the leadership question, an event later dubbed ‘the Portadown parliament’. He then narrowly retained his seat in the NI general election (24 February 1969) in a three-way contest between Claude J. Wilton, a Liberal, and Peter Colin Drummond Campbell, an O'Neill unionist. After this election Anderson changed his position and described himself as being in favour of O'Neill's leadership. When in late July 1970 the Northern Ireland joint security committee announced a six-month ban on all parades, Anderson publicly endorsed the decision and a few months later, was deselected by the Derry Unionist Association. One of his businesses in Butcher St., Derry, was demolished by a Provisional IRA bomb in 1971. On 26 October 1971 he was appointed senior parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs, with special responsibility for recruitment to the RUC and the UDR, and held this position till the suspension of the northern government on 24 March 1972, never again seeking election to public office.
He lived in Derry all his working life till he retired to Limavady, Co. Londonderry, in 1974. He was a member of the Apprentice Boys of Derry and a recipient of both the coronation medal and volunteer declaration. After his retirement, he became vice-president of the Royal British Legion in Limavady and president of the Limavady field club. He married (1939) Cicely, daughter of Alfred Hunter, banker, and Blanche Hunter, of Devon; they had four daughters. He died in Limavady on 18 June 1986.