Anderson Hays Cooper (3 June 1967 - )
Cooper is the New York City-born CNN host known for his telecast Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees.
The cable news anchor and news correspondent attended the Dalton School, a progressive school in New York City from which he graduated when 17. He attended the University of Hanoi but received his B.A. in political science from Yale University in 1989.
Cooper is the younger son of Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt (once the wife of conductor Leopold Stokowski) and author and screenwriter Wyatt Emory Cooper, his mother's fourth husband who lived from 1 Sep 1927 - 5 January 1978 and died during open heart surgery. They had two children, Anderson and Carter (1965 -1988), a suicide about which Anderson wrote "My Brother's Suicide".
Cooper has been producer and chief international correspondent of "Channel One News"; a correspondent for ABC News; "ABC's World News Saturday/Sunday"; ABC's "World News Tonight"; the anchor for ABC's "World News Now 2000 - 2001"; the host pf "The Mole," ABC, 2001; the weekend anchor CNN, 2001-2003; weekly anchor 2003 -; the anchor and host of "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN 2003 -; and also has been a contributing editor of Details.
He is author of Dispatches From the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters and Survival (2006).
Cooper has won many awards: an Emmy Award; a Silver Plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival; a Bronze Telly; a Bronze Award from the National Educational Film and Video Festival; and also the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Award for outstanding TV journalism.
Cooper is the great-great grandson of Hugh Judson "Kill Cavalry" Kilpatrick, the Union cavalry general who died in 1881 and was known for his aggressiveness and tough discipline during the Civil War. Cooper owes his existence to the fact that Kilpatrick's first wife died young during the war and he subsequently remarried.
Cooper was deeply affected by his brother's suicide, Cooper in Details (September 2003) explained,
- I try not to imagine him hanging from the ledge. Try not to imagine him falling.
- Did a couple out for an evening stroll catch a glimpse of him before he let go? Did a family gathered around the dinner table see him plunge past their window?
- That's the thing about suicide. Try as you might to remember how a person lived his life, you always end up thinking about how he ended it.
- My brother killed himself on a warm summer night in New York. I was 250 miles away, in Washington, sitting on one of those silent subways the city is known for.
- You always hear tales about brothers who can feel each other's pain. This isn't one of them.
- When my brother died, I didn't feel a thing.
- Carter Cooper. I rarely say his name out loud anymore.
- Strange. He was 23 at the time, two years older than I was. I'd always considered us close, though now I'm not so sure.
- As kids, we were together all the time. He was fascinated with military history and always led our childhood campaigns.
He describes how his brother went to Princeton and they saw each other only rarely. On the fateful day his brother, who had his own apartment, returned to be with his mother and seemingly disoriented she saw him sitting on the ledge of their balcony, his feet dangling over the edge.
- "Like a gymnast." That's how she would describe my brother's swing over the ledge. He clung on for a moment, then he just let go. "Just like a gymnast," she'd say, over and over.
The brother left no note. Anderson in vain tried to determine what had been in his brother's mind. He ends the article,
- My brother is buried next to my dad. I like to think of them together.
- I used to think suicide was a conscious act. A plan made, then carried out. I know now it's not always like that.
- My brother was a sweet young man who wanted to be in control. In the end, he simply wasn't.
- None of us are. We all dangle from a very delicate thread.
- The key is not to let go.
The freethinking Cooper lists no religious affiliation in his Who's Who entry, nor is he known to be a member of any organized religion. He has traveled widely and has researched all the various religions, even met many of their chief spokespersons.
Interviewing the Baptist minister Jerry Falwell, who has called Ellen DeGeneres "Ellen Degenerate" and saying, "AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals." Cooper in the 29 November 2004 interview asks:
- COOPER: But there are a lot of gay families out there, Reverend Falwell, there are a lot of gay families out there. I think there are like a million kids being raised by gay parents who say that if you want to protect families, you know, civil unions will give inheritance rights, will give Social Security, survivor benefits rights to...
- FALWELL: Anderson, that's all a red herring. If you want to leave something to your cat, you can do that in your will...
- COOPER: It's not a red herring. That's simply not true. It's not true. You know we [emphasis ours] pay taxes.
Others noted that CNN posted the transcript originally with the "we" as shown, but then altered it after the fact to say "you." When that is done, however, the sentence no longer makes sense.
Cooper's sexual orientation until July 2012 was a matter of dispute, but his special friend had been pointed out by gossip columnists who alleged in 2009 that the boyfriend of "the man who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth" was Julio Cesar Recio. On page 212 of Dispatches From the Edge is Cooper's statement, "I’d like to thank Julio for his support and calm counsel without which this book would not have been possible."
On 2 July 2012, Cooper came out of the closet, e-mailing gay blogger ["I'm gay, always have been, always will be" and "The tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible." East Village bar owner Benjamin Maisani was now named as the boyfriend, who was with Cooper at the New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration.
- - With Julio Cesar
- With Benjamin Maisoni
Ben, his Fremch-born partner in 2013 for four years, is co-owner of Eastern Bloc and Bedlam, two gay-friendly bars in New York City's East Village. In 2013 he opened a third watering hole at 753 Ninth Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets.