Andy Anderson was born in 1946 and raised on a farm in southern Illinois. In 1964, at age 16, he moved to Seldovia, Alaska where his brother was already living. He worked in the canneries and as a commercial fisherman, before becoming the community's chief of police in 1979. He also did construction work in Anchorage, ran tug and diving boats in Cook Inlet, and was a heavy equipment operator on the North Slope. Andy retired from the Seldovia police department in 2011, after serving for 32 years. He married a woman from Seldovia and raised a daughter there.