Raymond Sanford Erlandson was born in 1893. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1918 and a master's degree in education from George Washington University in 1922. During World War I he served as a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery. After the war, he served as business manager of the National Education Association, director of broadcasting for Majestic Radio, sales manager at the Zenith Radio Corporation, and vice president of the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company. Erlandson was the founder of the American School of the Air at CBS and was President of the American Music War Council during World War II. He moved to San Antonio in 1945 and became co-owner of the San Antonio Music Company and Bledsoe Furniture Company. From 1953 through 1964 Erlandson was Chairman of the Department of Business at Trinity University. Upon his retirement, he became President and CEO of the Children's Fund, which later became the American Institute for Character Education. Erlandson was very involved in his community, particularly through Rotary International, the American Red Cross, the University Presbyterian Church, Fiesta Association, and the Alamo Presbytery Committee. He was married to Margery Ann McKillop Erlandson (1894-1981) and had three sons, Ray Erlandson Jr., William Erlandson, and Dr. Paul Erlandson.