Cooper at Tulane University in May 2010
|Born||Anderson Hays Cooper
June 3, 1967
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Education||Yale University (BA)|
Talk show host
Game show host
|Notable credit(s)||World News Now co-anchor (1999–2000)
American Morning anchor (2002)
Anderson Cooper 360° anchor (2003–present)
Anderson Live host (2011–2013)
|Parent(s)||Gloria Vanderbilt (mother)
Wyatt Emory Cooper (father)
|Relatives||See Vanderbilt family|
Anderson Hays Cooper (born June 3, 1967) is an American journalist, author, and television personality. He is the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°. The program is normally broadcast live from a New York City studio; however, Cooper often broadcasts live on location for breaking news stories. From September 2011 to May 2013, he also served as host of his own eponymous syndicated daytime talk show, Anderson Live.
Early life and education
Cooper was born in New York City, the younger son of the writer Wyatt Emory Cooper and the artist, designer, writer, and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt. His maternal grandparents were millionaire equestrian Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt and socialite Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, and his maternal great-great-great-grandfather was Cornelius Vanderbilt of the prominent Vanderbilt shipping and railroad fortune. He is also a descendant, through his mother, of Civil War brevet Major General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick, who was with General William T. Sherman on his march through Georgia. Through his "Vanderbilt" line, he is a second cousin, once removed, of screenwriter James Vanderbilt.
Cooper's media experience began early. As a baby, he was photographed by Diane Arbus for Harper's Bazaar. At the age of three, Cooper was a guest on The Tonight Show on September 17, 1970, appearing with his mother. At the age of nine, he appeared on To Tell the Truth as an impostor. From age 10 to 13, Cooper modeled with Ford Models for Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Macy's.
Cooper's father suffered a series of heart attacks while undergoing open-heart surgery, and died January 5, 1978, at the age of 50. Cooper considers his father's book Families to be "sort of a guide on...how he would have wanted me to live my life and the choices he would have wanted me to make. And so I feel very connected to him."
Cooper's older brother, Carter Vanderbilt Cooper, committed suicide on July 22, 1988, at age 23, by jumping from the 14th-floor terrace of Vanderbilt's New York City penthouse apartment. Gloria Vanderbilt later wrote about her son's death in the book A Mother's Story, in which she expresses her belief that the suicide was caused by a psychotic episode induced by an allergy to the anti-asthma prescription drug salbutamol. Anderson cites Carter's suicide for sparking his interest in journalism. "Loss is a theme that I think a lot about, and it's something in my work that I dwell on. I think when you experience any kind of loss, especially the kind I did, you have questions about survival: Why do some people thrive in situations that others can’t tolerate? Would I be able to survive and get on in the world on my own?"
Cooper was educated at the Dalton School, a private co-educational independent school in New York City. At age 17, after graduating from the Dalton School a semester early, Cooper traveled around Africa for several months on a "survival trip". He contracted malaria on the trip and was hospitalized in Kenya. Describing the experience, Cooper wrote "Africa was a place to forget and be forgotten in." Cooper went on to attend Yale University, where he resided in Trumbull College, and was inducted into the Manuscript Society, majoring in political science and graduated with a B.A. in 1989.
During college, Cooper spent two summers as an intern at the Central Intelligence Agency. Although he has no formal journalistic education, he opted to pursue a career in journalism rather than stay with the agency after school, having been a self-proclaimed "news junkie since [he] was in utero." After his first correspondence work in the early 1990s, he took a break from reporting and lived in Vietnam for a year, during which time he studied the Vietnamese language at the University of Hanoi.
After Cooper graduated from Yale University, he tried to gain entry-level employment with ABC answering telephones, but was unsuccessful. Finding it hard to get his foot in the door of on-air reporting, Cooper decided to enlist the help of a friend in making a fake press pass. At the time, Cooper was working as a fact checker for the small news agency Channel One, which produces a youth-oriented news program that is broadcast to many junior high and high schools in the United States. Cooper then entered Myanmar on his own with his forged press pass and met with students fighting the Burmese government. He was ultimately able to sell his home-made news segments to Channel One.
After reporting from Burma, Cooper lived in Vietnam for a year to study the Vietnamese language at the University of Hanoi. Persuading Channel One to allow him to bring a Hi-8 camera with him, Cooper soon began filming and assembling reports of Vietnamese life and culture that aired on Channel One. He later returned to filming stories from a variety of war-torn regions around the globe, including Somalia, Bosnia, and Rwanda.
On assignment for several years[when?] Cooper had very slowly become desensitized to the violence he was witnessing around him; the horrors of the Rwandan Genocide became trivial: "I would see a dozen bodies and think, you know, it's a dozen, it's not so bad." One particular incident, however, snapped him out of it:
On the side of the road [Cooper] came across five bodies that had been in the sun for several days. The skin of a woman's hand was peeling off like a glove. Revealing macabre fascination, Cooper whipped out his disposable camera and took a closeup photograph for his personal album. As he did, someone took a photo of him. Later that person showed Cooper the photo, saying, "You need to take a look at what you were doing." "And that's when I realized I've got to stop, [...] I've got to report on some state fairs or a beauty pageant or something, to just, like, remind myself of some perspective."
In 1995, Cooper became a correspondent for ABC News, eventually rising to the position of co-anchor on its overnight World News Now program on September 21, 1999. In 2000 he switched career paths, taking a job as the host of ABC's reality show The Mole.
My last year at ABC, I was working overnights anchoring this newscast, then during the day at 20/20. So I was sleeping in two- or four-hour shifts, and I was really tired and wanted a change. I wanted to clear my head and get out of news a little bit, and I was interested in reality TV—and it was interesting.
Cooper left The Mole after its second season to return to broadcast news in 2001 at CNN, commenting, "Two seasons was enough, and 9/11 happened, and I thought I needed to be getting back to news." His first position at CNN was to anchor alongside Paula Zahn on American Morning. In 2002 he became CNN's weekend prime-time anchor. Since 2002, he has hosted CNN's New Year's Eve special from Times Square. On September 8, 2003, he was made anchor of Anderson Cooper 360°.
Describing his philosophy as an anchor, Cooper has said:
I think the notion of traditional anchor is fading away, the all-knowing, all-seeing person who speaks from on high. I don't think the audience really buys that anymore. As a viewer, I know I don't buy it. I think you have to be yourself, and you have to be real and you have to admit what you don't know, and talk about what you do know, and talk about what you don't know as long as you say you don't know it. I tend to relate more to people on television who are just themselves, for good or for bad, than I do to someone who I believe is putting on some sort of persona. The anchorman on The Simpsons is a reasonable facsimile of some anchors who have that problem.
Cooper covered a number of important stories in 2005, including the tsunami damage in Sri Lanka; the Cedar Revolution in Beirut, Lebanon; the death of Pope John Paul II; and the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.
During CNN coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he confronted Sen. Mary Landrieu, Sen. Trent Lott, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson about their perception of the government response. As Cooper said later in an interview with New York magazine, “Yeah, I would prefer not to be emotional and I would prefer not to get upset, but it's hard not to when you’re surrounded by brave people who are suffering and in need.” As Broadcasting & Cable magazine noted, "In its aftermath, Hurricane Katrina served to usher in a new breed of emo-journalism, skyrocketing CNN's Anderson Cooper to superstardom as CNN's golden boy and a darling of the media circles because of his impassioned coverage of the storm."
In August 2005, he covered the Niger famine from Maradi. In September 2005 the format of CNN's NewsNight was changed from 60 to 120 minutes to cover the unusually violent hurricane season. To help distribute some of the increased workload, Cooper was temporarily added as co-anchor to Aaron Brown. This arrangement was reported to have been made permanent the same month by the president of CNN's U.S. operations, Jonathan Klein, who has called Cooper "the anchorperson of the future." Following the addition of Cooper, the ratings for NewsNight increased significantly; Klein remarked that "[Cooper's] name has been on the tip of everyone's tongue." To further capitalize on this, Klein announced a major programming shakeup on November 2, 2005. Cooper's 360° program would be expanded to 2 hours and shifted into the 10 pm ET slot formerly held by NewsNight, with the third hour of Wolf Blitzer's The Situation Room filling in Cooper's former 7 pm ET slot. With "no options" left for him to host shows, Aaron Brown left CNN, ostensibly having "mutually agreed" with Jonathan Klein on the matter. In early 2007 Cooper signed a multi-year deal with CNN, which would allow him to continue as a contributor to 60 Minutes as well as doubling his salary from $2 million annually to a reported $4 million.
In October 2007 Cooper began hosting the documentary Planet in Peril, with Sanjay Gupta and Jeff Corwin on CNN. In 2008 he, Gupta, and Lisa Ling from National Geographic Explorer teamed up for a sequel, "Planet in Peril: Battle Lines," which premiered in December 2008. In 2007 he also began hosting CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute, a show which honors and recognizes extraordinary deeds by ordinary people.
Syndicated talk show
Warner Bros. and Telepictures (both corporate siblings of CNN) announced in September 2010 that Cooper had signed an agreement to host a nationally syndicated talk show. The New York Times' Brian Stelter reported on Twitter that the new Warner Bros. daytime talk show would be named Anderson (now titled Anderson Live). The show premiered on September 12, 2011, and, as part of negotiations over the talk show deal, Cooper signed a new multi-year contract with CNN to continue as the host of Anderson Cooper 360°. On October 29, 2012, it was announced that Anderson Live would end at the conclusion of its second season. The show, slightly renamed after season one and revamped with a variety of co-hosts, failed to achieve the ratings distributor Warner Brothers hoped for. The final Anderson Live aired on May 20, 2013.
In May 2006, Cooper published a memoir for HarperCollins, Dispatches from the Edge, detailing his life and work in Sri Lanka, Africa, Iraq and Louisiana over the previous year. Some of the book's proceeds are donated to charity. The book topped the New York Times bestseller list on June 18, 2006.
Cooper has two older half-brothers, Leopold Stanislaus "Stan" Stokowski (born 1950), and Christopher Stokowski (born 1952), from Gloria Vanderbilt's ten-year marriage to the conductor Leopold Stokowski.
He said to Oprah Winfrey—while promoting his book—that he had suffered from dyslexia as a child. In August 2007 he confirmed his "mild dyslexia" on The Tonight Show to Jay Leno, who also has dyslexia.
Cooper is openly gay; according to The New York Times, he is "the most prominent openly gay journalist on American television." For years, Cooper avoided discussing his private life in interviews.
On July 2, 2012, however, he gave Andrew Sullivan permission to publish an email that stated, in part:
I've begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It's become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something—something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true. ... The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.
|1993||Bronze Telly||Telly Awards||Coverage of famine in Somalia||Won|
|1997||Emmy Award||ATAS/NATAS||Coverage of Princess Diana's funeral||Won|
|2001||GLAAD Media Award||Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation||20/20 Downtown: "High School Hero" – report on high school athlete Corey Johnson||Outstanding TV Journalism||Won|
|2005||Peabody Award||Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia||Coverage of Hurricane Katrina||Won|
|National Headliner Award||Press Club of Atlantic City||Anderson Cooper 360: "Wave of Destruction" – 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami coverage||Coverage of a Major News Event||Won|
|2006||Emmy Award||ATAS/NATAS||Anderson Cooper 360: "Charity Hospital"||Outstanding Feature Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast||Won|
|Anderson Cooper 360: "Starving in Plain Sight"||Outstanding Live Coverage of a Breaking News Story – Long Form||Won|
|2007||Emmy Award||ATAS/NATAS||Anderson Cooper 360: "Sago Mines"||Outstanding Live Coverage of a Breaking News Story – Long Form||Nominated|
|Anderson Cooper 360: "High Rise Crash"||Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Lighting Direction & Scenic Design||Nominated|
|Business & Financial Reporting||Anderson Cooper 360: "Black Market Infertility"||Outstanding Coverage of a Current Business News Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast||Nominated|
|2008||Emmy Award||ATAS/NATAS||Anderson Cooper 360: "Unapproved Drugs"||Outstanding Feature Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast||Nominated|
|Anderson Cooper 360: "Chicago Police Brutality"||Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast||Nominated|
|2010||National Order of Honour and Merit||Government of Haiti||Reporting on 2010 Haiti earthquake||Awarded|
|2011||Emmy Award||ATAS/NATAS||Anderson Cooper 360: "Haiti in Ruins"||Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast||Won|
|Anderson Cooper 360: "Crisis in Haiti"||Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story – Long Form||Won|
|2013||GLAAD Media Award||Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation||Vito Russo Award||Awarded|
- Year of award unknown
- Silver Plaque from the Chicago International Film Festival for his report from Sarajevo on the Bosnian War
- Bronze Award from the National Education Film and Video Festival for a report on political Islam
- 1999–2000: World News Now co-anchor
- 2001–2002: The Mole host
- 2003–present: Anderson Cooper 360° anchor
- 2005: NewsNight co-anchor
- 2007–present: 60 Minutes correspondent
- 2011–2013: Anderson Live
- Chappie, 2015 film
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- Kenneally, Tim (October 29, 2012). "Anderson Cooper's talk show to end after second season". The Wrap via Yahoo.com. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
- Whitaker, Barbara (July 27, 1988). "Simple Service for Vanderbilt's Son". Newsday. p. 4; Section: News.
- Green, Tyler. "MODERN ART NOTES: Name That Baby". ArtsJournal. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved June 30, 2007.
- Patricia Bosworth, "Diane Arbus: A Biography", NY: W.W. Norton, 1984
- The New York Times, September 17, 1970, page 95.
- ""To Tell the Truth" Episode dated 8 April 1977 (TV Episode 1977)". IMDb. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
- Van Meter, Jonathan, "Unanchored," New York, September 19, 2005 (Retrieved on September 27, 2006).
- "Anderson Cooper's Private War" by Po Bronson; Men's Journal, March 2007
- Bronson, Po (February 12, 2007). "Anderson Cooper's Private War". Po Bronson blog. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- Palka, Mary Kelli (October 21, 2007). "Anderson Cooper: He runs to where others are running from". Florida Times-Union. www.jacksonville.com. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
- Bercovici, Jeff (September 6, 2006). "Anderson Cooper's CIA secret". Radar. Retrieved June 30, 2007.
- Hirschman, David S. (May 11, 2006). "So what do you do, Anderson Cooper?". Mediabistro.com. Retrieved June 30, 2007.
- "Anchors & Reporters: Anderson Cooper". CNN. Archived from the original on November 26, 2009. Retrieved November 2, 2009.
- Hirschman, David S. "Articles: So What Do You Do, Anderson Cooper?". mediabistro.com. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
- Bonawitz, Amy (March 13, 2007). "Anderson Cooper Fills in For Regis". CBS News. CBS. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
- "Blown Away by Katrina". Broadcasting & Cable. December 12, 2005. Retrieved June 30, 2007.
- Jensen, Elizabeth, "An anchor who reports disaster news with a heart on his sleeve", The New York Times, September 12, 2005 (Retrieved September 27, 2006).
- Carter, Bill, "CNN ousts evening anchor and embraces rising star", The New York Times, November 3, 2005 (Retrieved September 27, 2006).
- Carter, Bill, "CNN ousts Aaron Brown and gives slot to Anderson Cooper", The New York Times, November 2, 2005 (Retrieved September 27, 2006).
- "Exclusive: Anderson Cooper Signs New Multiyear Deal with CNN," Broadcasting & Cable, January 19, 2007
- "Twitter / Warner Bros. has settled on a name for Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show, coming in Sept. 2011. It's "Anderson."". Twitter.com. December 12, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
- "Anderson Cooper New Daytime Talk Show". AndersonCooper.com. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
- "Anderson Cooper to host daytime talk show". The Spy Report. Media Spy. October 1, 2010. Archived from the original on October 4, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- Stelter, Brian (September 30, 2010). "CNN's Anderson Cooper in Daytime Talk Show Deal". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 2, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- "Voice of Anderson Cooper to Narrate HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING". BroadwayWorld.com. January 18, 2011. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- Patrick Phillips (March 1, 2007). "Anderson Cooper: 'I Didn't Go to Anchor School'". I Want Media. Retrieved January 3, 2007.
- "41. Anderson Cooper".
- "Side Dish". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on February 9, 2007. Retrieved January 3, 2007.[dead link]
- Hubbard, Kim (May 1996). "Living with Loss". People. Retrieved December 15, 2008.
- "Books That Made a Difference to Anderson Cooper". O, The Oprah Magazine. July 2005. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
- Stelter, Brian (July 2, 2012). "Anderson Cooper Says, "The Fact Is, I'm Gay"". New York Times. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- "Anderson Cooper: "The Fact Is, I'm Gay."". The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- Anderson Cooper 'to marry boyfriend Ben Maisani' | Daily Mail Online
- "PBS". September 22, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
- Karsnak, Mike (May 12, 2005). "Tenacity marks winning careers of TV journalist, marketing CEO – Honorary degree recipients". The Star-Ledger. Newark, New Jersey. p. 2.
- Watson, Stephanie (2007). Anderson Cooper: Profile of a TV Journalist. Rosen Publishing Group. pp. 61–62. ISBN 1-4042-1907-2.
- Willer-Allred, Michele (February 17, 2009). "For CNN's Cooper, desire to travel leads to career". Ventura County Star. California.
- "12th Annual GLAAD Media Awards" (Press release). GLAAD.org. April 16, 2001. Archived from the original on June 4, 2008.
- "Coverage of Hurricane Katrina 2005". The Peabody Awards. www.peabody.uga.edu. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
- "2005 National Headliner Award Winners: Broadcast television networks, cable networks, and syndicators". NationalHeadlinerAwards.com.
- "Headliner Award winners". The Press of Atlantic City. New Jersey: South Jersey Publishing Company. May 15, 2005. p. C6.
- "27th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards". EmmyOnline.org. September 25, 2006. Retrieved June 30, 2007.
- Associated Press (September 27, 2006). "CBS and PBS lead winners of Emmy news awards". The Record. Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. p. B5.
- "28th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards Nominees". EmmyOnline.org. September 28, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2007.
- "News and Docu Emmy Nominations 2008: PBS is Frontrunner". emanuellevy.com. September 27, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
- Katz, Jonathan M. (July 13, 2010). "Medals for Haiti recovery, little for homeless". The Huffington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
- "32nd Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards". EmmyOnline.org. September 26, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
- Ricky Carter (February 21, 2013). "Anderson Cooper to receive Vitto Russo Award at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards". GLAAD.org. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Anchors & Reporters – Anderson Cooper". CNN. Time Warner. 2010. Archived from the original on July 15, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
- Anderson Cooper at the Internet Movie Database
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- Works by or about Anderson Cooper in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Anderson Cooper collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Anderson Cooper: The Silver Fox – slideshow by Life magazine
- Anderson Cooper interview video at the Archive of American Television