Anne Burnett was born on October 15, 1900 in Fort Worth, Texas. She grew up in Fort Worth. Her father, Thomas Lloyd Burnett was the owner of the Triangle Ranch and operated the Tom L. Burnett Cattle Company. Her mother was Olive (Lake) Burnett. Her parents divorced in 1918, when she was eighteen years old. Her paternal grandfather, Samuel Burk Burnett, established the 6666 Ranch near Guthrie, Texas after the Civil War. Her paternal grandmother was Mary Couts Burnett, a philanthropist whose estate went to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
Miss Anne, as she was known informally, was educated on the East coast and summered at her father's Triangle Ranch, where she learned ranching as a teenager.
She inherited the 6666 Ranch from her grandfather, who had willed it to her in a trust prior to his death in 1922, bypassing his wife, Mary Couts Burnett, whom he tried to disinherit after he had her committed. Upon her father's death in 1938, she also inherited the Triangle Ranch.
She became a renowned breeder of American Quarter Horses. She purchased Grey Badger I in 1949 and kept Streakin Six, Dash For Cash, and Special Effort at her 6666 Ranch.
She served on the Board of Directors of the First National Bank of Fort Worth and the Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show. She was the first woman to serve as a member of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and the West Texas Chamber of Commerce.
She helped co-found the American Quarter Horse Association, where she served as Honorary Vice President. Additionally, she founded the American Quarter Horse Heritage Center and Museum. She also served on the Boards of Trustees of the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the Ranching Heritage Association in Lubbock, Texas. She also served as Vice President of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
After her fourth husband's death in 1978, she founded the eponymous Anne Burnett Tandy and Charles D. Tandy Foundation. The foundation donated to non-profit organizations in the Fort Worth area.
She received the Golden Deeds Award from the Exchange Club of Fort Worth in 1975.
She first married Guy Waggoner, an heir to the Waggoner Ranch, and later divorced. Her second marriage was to James Goodwin Hall. They had a daughter, Anne Burnett. After they divorced, she married Robert Windfohr, who died in 1964.
In 1969, she married Charles Tandy, the founder of the Tandy Corporation.
In the late sixties she commissioned Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei to design a new house in their community of Westover Hills in West Fort Worth. Pei's dramatic 19,000 square-foot concrete and marble structure set a new standard in Dallas-Fort Worth for vanguard residential design and became a local tourist attraction. It featured concrete walls bush-hammered to expose a quartz and pink feldspar aggregate. A raked skylighted shed-roof rising over a marble-floor entertainment area with bar gave the home its profile-identity. It is the only house Pei ever designed. She became a widow in 1978.
She died on January 1, 1980 in Fort Worth, Texas. She was buried at the Greenwood Memorial Cemetery in Fort Worth. Her estate was inherited by her only daughter. Meanwhile, she was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Association posthumously in 1990, and into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in 2002.