Anderson Cooper
BornJune 3, 1967
BirthplaceNew York City, New York, USA
OccupationBroadcast journalist
Talk show host
Game show host
ParentsGloria Vanderbilt (mother)
Wyatt Emory Cooper (father)
Domestic partnerBenjamin Maisani[1]

Anderson Hays Cooper (born June 3, 1967) is an American journalist, author, and television personality. He is the primary news 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.[2]

Early life

Cooper was born on June 3, 1967,[3] in New York City, New York, 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.[4] He is also a descendant, through his mother, of brevet Civil War Major General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick, who was with General William T. Sherman on his march through Georgia.

Cooper's media experience began early. As a baby, he was photographed by Diane Arbus for Harper's Bazaar.[5][6] At the age of three, Cooper was a guest on The Tonight Show on September 17, 1970, appearing with his mother.[7] At the age of nine, he appeared on To Tell the Truth as an impostor.[8] From age 10 to 13 Cooper modeled with Ford Models for Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Macy's.[9]

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 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."[9]

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?"[9]

Personal life

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.[10]

He said to Oprah Winfrey – while promoting his book – that he had suffered from dyslexia as a child.[11] 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."[12] For years Cooper avoided discussing his private life in interviews although independent news sources reported on his being gay,[13] and in May 2007, Out magazine ranked him second behind David Geffen in its list of the fifty "Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America."[14] When asked about his sexuality in 2005, he stated, "I understand why people might be interested. But I just don’t talk about my personal life. It’s a decision I made a long time ago, before I ever even knew anyone would be interested in my personal life. The whole thing about being a reporter is that you're supposed to be an observer and to be able to adapt with any group you’re in, and I don’t want to do anything that threatens that."[9] He had, however, discussed his desire to have a family and children.[15] His public reticence deliberately contrasted with his mother's life spent in the spotlight of tabloid journalists and her publication of memoirs explicitly detailing her affairs with celebrities. Cooper vowed "not to repeat that strategy."[16][17][18] 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.[19]

Cooper has stated his intentions to marry his boyfriend, gay bar owner Benjamin Maisani, in New York City. He considered coming out to the public when same-sex marriage became legal in New York in July 2011. The couple has been dating since 2009.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Lydia Warren (2012-07-11). Anderson Cooper 'to marry boyfriend Ben Maisani' | Mail Online. Retrieved on 2012-07-15.
  2. Kenneally, Tim (October 29, 2012). Anderson Cooper's talk show to end after second season. The Wrap via Retrieved on October 30, 2012.
  3. Karger, Dave. "Booking himself", Entertainment Weekly,, May 23, 2006. Retrieved on 2010-07-13. 
  4. Whitaker, Barbara. "Simple Service for Vanderbilt's Son", Newsday, July 27, 1988, p. 4; Section: News. 
  5. Green, Tyler. MODERN ART NOTES: Name That Baby. ArtsJournal. Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved on 2007-06-30.
  6. Patricia Bosworth, "Diane Arbus: A Biography", NY: W.W. Norton, 1984
  7. The New York Times, September 17, 1970, page 95.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Van Meter, Jonathan, "Unanchored," New York, September 19, 2005 (Retrieved on September 27, 2006).
  10. Hubbard, Kim. "Living with Loss", People. Retrieved on 2008-12-15. 
  11. Books That Made a Difference to Anderson Cooper. O, The Oprah Magazine (July 2005). Archived from the original on 2008-07-06. Retrieved on 2011-11-10.
  12. Stelter, Brian (2012-07-02). Anderson Cooper Says, "The Fact Is, I'm Gay". New York Times. Retrieved on 2012-07-02.
  13. Independent media sources reporting that Cooper is gay prior to his publicly coming out include: Out columnist Josh Kilmer-Purcell noted that as early as the 1990s at ABC "it was common knowledge in the newsroom even then that Anderson was gay": In 2003, MetroSource magazine called him "the openly gay news anchor":
  14. The Power 50. Out Magazine (May 2007). Retrieved on 2011-11-10.
  15. Bronson, Po (March 2007). Anderson Cooper's Private War. Men's Journal. Retrieved on 2008-10-04.
  16. Musto, Michael (May 2007). The Glass Closet: We all know which stars are inside the glass closet, so why won't they come out?. Out. Archived from the original on 26 September 2008. Retrieved on 2008-10-03.
  17. "Gloria Vanderbilt's Many Loves: Heiress Discusses The Romances And Tragedies Of Her Life", CBS News Sunday Morning, 2005-07-31. Retrieved on 2007-06-30. Archived from the original on 30 June 2007. 
  18. Bronson, Po (February 12, 2007). Anderson Cooper's Private War. Social Studies. Archived from the original on 21 October 2008. Retrieved on October 4, 2008.
  19. Anderson Cooper: "The Fact Is, I'm Gay.". The Daily Beast. Retrieved on 2012-07-02.

External links

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