Born in Brandon, Manitoba, in 1919, Frank W. Anderson was orphaned at 18 months and grew up in foster homes, reform schools and jails. At age 16, he was convicted of killing a prison guard and was sentenced to death. This was commuted to life and he spent the next 15 years in a penitentiary. There he completed his high school education and became the first prisoner in Canada to take university courses behind bars. Paroled in 1951, he completed a BA and an MA in social work from the University of Toronto. He then joined the John Howard Society and became a parole officer. He developed a two-year course in human behaviour that was adopted by several colleges, and he was appointed to the National Parole Board in 1974, placed in charge of the region covering Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories. He held this position until he retired. In 1998, the University of Ottawa created the Frank W. Anderson Archives of Criminology to serve as a resource centre for students across Canada. He married Edna Marshal in 1955 and they had two children. He moved to Saskatoon after retiring and managed Frontier Books, publishing more than 100 books on Canadian history written by himself and other authors, including Ken Liddell and W.O. Mitchell. He also wrote a book about women who were executed in Canada, A Dance with Death: Canadian Women on the Gallows. Although he was later based in Calgary, Frank wrote, edited and produced numerous titles pertaining to British Columbia.