Ottis Anderson was born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida. He played college football at the University of Miami.
Anderson was selected in the first round of the 1979 NFL Draft, the 8th overall pick, by the St. Louis Cardinals. He was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1979. He was the MVP of Super Bowl XXV in 1991 when playing with the New York Giants.
The end of Anderson's 14-year football career in 1993 marked the beginning of his career in entrepreneurship and motivational speaking. In 2017, Anderson began working as the Vice President of Business and Development for Metro Exhibits, selling trade show booths and services.