Gregg Anderson was born in San Luis Obispo, California in 1948. During World War II, his father, a third-generation Californian, served in the Marine Corps, and his mother, who had grown up in South Dakota, worked in a civilian capacity for the Navy in California.

Growing up in Sacramento, Anderson attended public schools and was involved in student government. He began swimming competitively at age seven and trained at the renowned Arden Hills with coach Sherm Chavoor. He competed regionally in the backstroke and distance freestyle and swam in the U.S. Olympic trials in 1964 and 1968.

Recruited by several universities, he decided on the Rutgers Men's Swimming and Diving Team, coached by Frank Elm. At Rutgers from 1966 to 1970, he majored in political science and joined Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. He remembers the antiwar movement in New Brunswick and attended an antiwar demonstration in Washington, DC. In his swimming career at Rutgers, he held four individual school marks (500 and 1000 freestyle and 100 and 200 backstroke) and won the Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League's championship in the 200 backstroke in 1968-69 and the 500 freestyle in 1969. He is a two-time All-American (1968, 1969) and is the last Rutgers men's swimmer to earn the honor.

Following graduation, he served in the Peace Corps in Tunisia, after which he went to Kean for his teaching certification. He went on to a career teaching social studies at North Brunswick High School and coaching the school's boys and girls swim team, totaling more than five hundred career wins. He was selected as a Rutgers Loyal Son in 1991 and was inducted into the Rutgers Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.

Gregg Anderson's oral history is a part of the Class of 1970 Oral History Project to commemorate the class's fiftieth reunion milestone.