“And he would call people out,” he added. “If a fellow reporter was cutting corners or not being aggressive in his questioning, he would call them out. He made enemies that way. But from his point of view, he was telling the truth.”
Robert Sam Anson was born on March 12, 1945, in Cleveland. His mother, Virginia Rose Anson, was a schoolteacher. His father was not in the picture, and his mother and her parents raised him. His grandfather, Sam B. Anson, was a major figure in journalism in Cleveland, where he held publishing and editing jobs at the city’s daily papers. His grandmother, Edith (McConville) Anson, was a homemaker.
Life at home was something of a journalistic boot camp. When Robert was a child, he later told friends, his grandfather would quiz him on current events. If he gave a wrong answer, his grandfather would throw something at him.
As Mr. Anson recounted in his LinkedIn profile, he was expelled from one school for what he said was his “resistance to idiotic rules.” His punishment for one misdeed was to copy, by hand, Stephen Crane’s “The Red Badge of Courage,” which “proved useful” when he covered Vietnam, he wrote.
He graduated from the Jesuit-run St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland in 1963 and went on to Notre Dame, where he majored in English and international relations. He graduated in 1967.
Mr. Anson’s three marriages ended in divorce. His brief first marriage, to Diane McAniff, whom he had met in college, was in the late 1960s. He was married, again briefly, to Sharon Haddock, a lawyer, in the mid-1970s. He married Amanda Kay Kyser, an artist, in 1985; they divorced in 2017.
In addition to his son, Sam, Mr. Anson is survived by two daughters, Christian Anson Kasperkovitz and Georgia Grace Anson; a sister, Edith Schy; and one grandson.