ANDERSON COOPER, American reporter, born; An Emmy Award-winning American journalist, author and television personality. He works as the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360. He is the younger son of the writer Wyatt Emory Cooper and the artist, designer, writer, and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, the “Poor Little Rich Girl” granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt II of the prominent Vanderbilt family of New York.
His public life contrasts deliberately with his mother’s life spent in the spotlight of tabloid journalists and her publication of memoirs explicitly detailing her affairs with celebrities. He is Gay, though it took him long enough to come out. Typical of our celebrity-besotted society, in May 2007, Out magazine ranked him second among “The Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America.”
He was awarded the 2001 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Journalism for “High School Hero,” his 20/20 Downtown report on high school athlete Corey Johnson, the co-captain of a Massachusetts high school football team who was the first high school athlete in the nation to come out publicly while still enjoying the support of his teammates, parents and coaches.
In July 2012, 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.”
Cooper and his boyfriend, Gay bar owner Benjamin Maisani, have been together since 2009. In 2014, the couple purchased the Rye House, a historic estate in Connecticut. Apple CEO Tim Cook turned to Cooper for advice before he subsequently made the decision to publicly come out as Gay. In 2020 Cooper announced that he had become a father through a surrogacy. And though he and Maisani have separated, they will co-parent the boy who is named Wyatt Morgan.