She was the third child of Berry Gordy Sr. and the family moved to Detroit shortly after her birth. She began her career in the music industry distributing records for other record companies, before creating her own label, Anna Records, with Billy Davis and her sister Gwen, in 1958. Anna (the company) distributed Motown’s first national hit, “Money (That’s What I Want)” and recorded the first singles by David Ruffin. Marvin Gaye also acted as a session drummer for the label, and soon met label owner Anna Gordy. The two were married in 1963.
When Anna Records was absorbed into Motown in 1961, Anna (the person) joined the company as a songwriter. Anna co-wrote several songs for The Originals and even Marvin Gaye in the late 1960s and early 1970s, although she and Marvin had separated by 1973. After subsequent divorce precedings from 1975 to 1977 Marvin began recording a new album and actually based 1976’s Here My Dear around his turbulent marriage. Anna threatened to sue but later withdrew.
The two nevertheless renconciled as friends in the early 1980s. Following Marvin’s death in 1984 she accepted his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on his behalf. Anna would never remarry, and sadly passed away in 2014.