Hearne: ‘Survivor’ B.B. Andersen of Mission Hills Dead @ 77

Screen shot 2013-11-01 at 11.07.26 AMThey say the bigger you are, the harder you fall…

There are however exceptions to such broad generalities, and until this past Tuesday, Mission Hills multi-millionaire B.B. Andersen would appear to be the poster child for such exceptions. Short of having the complete inside track on Andersen’s life story, it’s hard to cite an example of the international businessman and Survivor Season One reality show star ever having slipped.

“He was an amazing, amazing guy,” says attorney Dwight Sutherland. “And he was a major, major donor to the Republican Party and it paid off for him. He got all sorts of government contracts. I mean, he got the bottled water concession for the first Gulf War in 1991 for Desert Storm. He had a condo in Northern Iraq.”

And yet somehow, despite Andersen’s many plaudits, he managed to keep a low profile locally.

“He wasn’t a household word here because be was playing at the international level,” Sutherland says. “I mean, you wouldn’t see him at the Granfalloon or JJ’s because (in his later years) he had become a respectable family man. But he was up to his ears in this West Edge thing on the Plaza. He jumped in the middle of it and brought it out of bankruptcy. It was very convoluted.”

Screen shot 2013-11-01 at 11.07.09 AMConvoluted indeed.

Just last year Andersen was “awarded” $6 million to settle a lawsuit against iconic KC car dealer Cecil Van Tuyl over the project.

Andersen’s obit in today’s Kansas City Star lists his birthplace as Geddes, South Dakota, but “He was a Topeka kid and he was a Navy Seal,” Sutherland says. “And he took his road show to Kansas City and then all over the world.”

Andersen’s ticket to ride?

“If you met B.B. Andersen once you would never forget him,” Sutherland says. “I mean, the guy had charisma. He was big and he was handsome and he was an amazing guy. He was one of a kind.”

As recently as the past year Andersen was spotted hanging at a high dollar fundraiser for Mitt Romney and in late spring or early summer making the local social circuit.

“He basically had a massive stroke and brain cancer (sometime this summer) and was in an out of hospice for months now,” Sutherland says.

Screen shot 2013-11-01 at 11.05.40 AMAndersen leaves behind a minor mystery.

“There’s a spy novel by Tommy Caplan called The Spy Who Jumped Off the Screen,” Sutherland says. “And it’s set in Kansas City in Mission Hills and is about an international construction contractor and Vietnam veteran who has all sorts of political contacts from the White House on down. Who was quite a ladies man with much younger women. The character’s name is Willie Claussen, which is a reasonable facsimile of B.B. Anderson. I mean, how many people here fit that profile? Nobody except B.B.

“And a friend of mine asked B.B. about it and he was very coy about it. I wrote the author twice and never got a response, but I talked to him the day before yesterday and asked him point blank about B.B. and he acted surprised and didn’t appear to know who B.B. Andersen was. I think it may have just been a tremendous coincidence now but I think B.B. liked the idea of being the hero in a spy novel, so he didn’t deny it – which says something about B.B.”

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13 Responses to Hearne: ‘Survivor’ B.B. Andersen of Mission Hills Dead @ 77

  1. PB says:

    “And a friend of mine asked B.B. about it (spy novel) and he was very coy about it. ”

    Certainly unlike a certain Scribe known to post in this space.

    Didn’t know anything about the man except for his stint on Survivor where he did in fact come off as a decent fellow so based on that…RIP, Mr. Anderson.

  2. Joel Klug says:

    There was only one BB Andersen. He will be missed!

    • Joe Cofran says:

      BB and I were good friends as we lived around the corner from one another. I was with Bob Florence Contrs, we did a lot of work for BB all around NE Kansas. He flew me to Michigan to buy a House Boat. BB was always a good friend and willing to try and help all to get along. Rest in piece! Sincerely, Joe Cofran

  3. Joe Cofran says:

    Only comments marked *were on my name and email!!! Joe Cofran????

  4. yay says:

    well you can’t have enough dead Republicans.

    • Mysterious J says:

      I wouldn’t go that far…condolences to the family, of course. Having said that, I do thoroughly enjoy tales of folks like this who wasted so much money trying to get Romney elected.

  5. DSW-ESQ says:

    Had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Anderson several times… Can’t think of anyone I’ve ever met who would be more educational to have an “off the record” conversation with over a snifter of scotch- he will be missed.

  6. Shannon says:

    @yay: What a horrible comment. You do realize regardless of his political affiliations he was a father and a husband to people who are devastated by their loss. Not to mention your comment is precisely what your suggested bias claims to detest about conservatives! (Judgement, heartless and blind to the greater good…) You are like the quiet and introverted black lip stick wearing high school girl who demonizes the popular crowd for doing exactly what she is doing to them. Why should I bother when you are clearly too DEM, pun intended, to recognize the transparency of your statement.

    RIP BB…..at least you had the BALLS to live your life loud and proud. YAY!!!

  7. MJ says:

    Gaining a government contract due to political contributions is serious corruption. Punishable by jailtime and enormous fines. As well as money being taken away from the troops actually fighting the war.

    Perhaps someone should investigate the people responsible for awarding this contract. As well as seek damages from BB’s estate.

  8. Shannon says:

    I apologize for the missing “?” at the end of my 2nd sentence.

  9. shar says:

    What a full of bull article. Too bad your research is that of an idiot

  10. Lindsay Ruzicka says:

    B.B. was a great friend to my parents – especially my dad. He was a huge character and loved to tease my mom and I about our difference in politics. He was such a kind man and a good listener. He had been everywhere and knew everything but loved nothing more than being with his family and friends in Kansas City. And I definitly think he a James Bond in his younger years!

  11. rio_garchnik says:

    thought I recognized Mr Andersen’s name in skimming over the obits in the Star.

    kinda of a skimpy couple of paragraphs for a man of his accomplishments.
    (obits are written by relatives or friends)

    and no.. they didn’t mention his Survivor appearance.

    Fortunately.

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