Anders married Valerie Hoard in 1955. The couple have four sons and two daughters: Alan (born February 1957), Glen (born July 1958), Gregory (born December 1962), Eric (born July 1964), Gayle (born December 1960), and Diana (born August 1972). They live in Washington state.
After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, Anders took his commission in the U.S. Air Force and served as a fighter pilot in all-weather interceptor squadrons of the Air Defense Command. He later was responsible for technical management of nuclear power reactor shielding and radiation effects programs while at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory in New Mexico.
Following the reorganization of national nuclear regulatory and developmental activities on January 19, 1975, Anders was named by President Ford to become the first chairman of the newly established Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is responsible for nuclear safety and environmental compatibility.At the completion of his term as NRC chairman, Anders was appointed Ambassador to Norway and held that position until 1977, when he left the federal government after 26 years.
Anders briefly served as a fellow of theAmerican Enterprise Institute, then joinedGeneral Electric in September 1977. As Vice President and General Manager of GE's Nuclear Products Division in San Jose, California, he was responsible for the manufacture of nuclear fuel, reactor internal equipment, and control and instrumentation for GE boiling-water reactors at facilities located in San Jose and Wilmington, North Carolina. He also oversaw GE's partnership with Chicago Bridge and Iron for making large steel pressure vessels in Memphis, Tennessee. In August 1979, Anders was sent to attend Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program. On the first day of 1980, Anders was appointed General Manager of the GE Aircraft Equipment Division. Headquartered in Utica, New York, the division included more than 8,500 employees in five locations in the northeastern U.S. Its products includedAIRCRAFT FLIGHT and weapon control systems, cockpit instruments, aircraft electrical generating systems, airborne radars and data processing systems, electronic countermeasures, space command systems, and aircraft/surface multi-barrel armament systems.
In 1984, he left GE to join Textron as Executive Vice President for aerospace, and two years later became Senior Executive Vice President for operations.
On June 27, 2009, Anders was a guest of the first World Moon Bounce Day. His interview was bounced off the Moon by radio signals and back to Earth as part of the activities. The first World Moon Bounce Day was timed to precede the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11.
In 2011, Anders spoke at the first Starmus Festival in the Canary Islands, delivering a lecture on the early American space program. His talk was published in the book Starmus: 50 Years of Man in Space.
Anders also appeared in the 2005 documentary “Race to the Moon,” which was shown as part of the PBS American Experience series. The film, renamed in 2013 as “Earthrise: The First Lunar Voyage,” centered on the events that led up to NASA’s Apollo 8 mission.
Anders is interviewed in a chapter of the book "No More Worlds to Conquer" by Chris Wright. The chapter is roughly evenly split between his life in Apollo and his later corporate life. Anders allowed his "Earthrise" image to be used as the book's front cover.