Tanzerious was born and raised in a Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts before moving to a Dorchester neighborhood at the age of thirteen. He is the son of Booker T. Anderson and Karen Pulido. However, as a result of his father’s death due to a heart attack when Tanzerious was only nine years old, their mother raised him and his two siblings alone. He has an older brother, Robert Anderson, and an older sister Kristen Fagioli.
Tanzerious attended the Tobin School from kindergarten through eighth grade. He performed well enough to get into John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics, one of Boston’s public exam schools. He was an ROTC member who made the honor roll in both ninth and tenth grades.
In the winter of his senior year, Tanzerious learned he was going to be a father. That news, combined with his struggling performance in school, was a wake-up call. So, Tanzerious moved to Cape Cod to live with his maternal grandmother. He attended two different night schools to earn enough credits to still graduate on time from Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School. His school performance once again improved and he graduated high school with honors. He did so while working and preparing for fatherhood.
In the fall of 1999, Tanzerious was enrolled as a freshman at Northeastern University, receiving a 5-year tuition grant through Northeastern's "Ticket to Success" scholarship program. An article profiling his freshman year summed up his hectic schedule that fall: up early to help get his son ready for daycare, then catching a bus from Dorchester, to Northeastern University where he took classes all morning. He then worked for several hours at night. He would then spend the evening caring for his son, followed by late-night study sessions at the Snell Library.
As a part of his scholarship; Tanzerious provided tutoring mentorship twice a week for high school students. Tanzerious worked hard to create multiple options for his future. His plans included spending one weekend per month in the Marine Corps Reserves, where he was to receive training in accounting. He had recently been accepted into the Carpenter’s Apprenticeship Program with Local 67, and he was waiting for the results of his Fireman Exam.
Unbeknownst to him, in the spring of his freshman year, his life was about to be abruptly interrupted when he was arrested and charged for the murder of Inam Yazbek. He has been incarcerated since 2000 and continues to work diligently to free himself.