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Anderson Cooper was a news correspondent on ABC and CNN before hosting his own show, Anderson Cooper 360.
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Anderson Cooper is the son of Gloria Vanderbilt and descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt. He grew up in New York City, attending the Dalton School and later Yale University before pursuing a journalism career. He became a correspondent for ABC News in 1995, moving to anchor positions on CNN a few years later and hosting his own news program, Anderson Cooper 360, beginning in 2003.
Anderson Cooper was born in New York City in 1967, to writer Wyatt Emory Cooper and designer and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt. When Cooper was just 10 years old, his father died during open-heart surgery, a tragedy that would influence the way Cooper lived his life. Tragedy would strike the Cooper family yet again in 1988, when his brother, Carter, committed suicide by jumping to his death from the 14th-floor window of their mother's New York City apartment. As his father's death had, Carter's death fueled Cooper's drive, and he would later connect the event with his correspondent career: "I became interested in questions of survival: why some people survive and others don't ... Covering wars just seemed logical."
By the early 1980s, Cooper was enrolled at the Dalton School, an exclusive, private Manhattan school. He graduated in 1985, and went on to attend Yale University, where he graduated in 1989 with a political science degree.
Cooper began his news career as a fact checker for Channel One, which produces news segments to be broadcast in schools around the country. Bored with his day-to-day job, he took a videocamera with him to Southeast Asia, and his footage of strife in Myanmar and parts of Africa eventually landed him the job of chief international correspondent for Channel One.
Cooper's reports soon attracted enough attention that, in 1995, he was hired by ABC News as a correspondent and then a co-anchor of World News Now. Growing weary of the demanding schedule, he left in 2000 to host a new ABC reality show, The Mole. But after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Cooper was compelled to return to the news, and CNN took him aboard in January 2002 as a correspondent and substitute anchor.
In 2003, CNN gave Cooper his own news show, Anderson Cooper 360, on which he examines in depth major stories of the day. The show was an instant success, and Cooper himself became a household name, propelled by his coverage of such events as Hurricane Katrina, the death of Pope John Paul II and the revolution in Lebanon.
Cooper and his show have won several major honors, including several Emmy Awards. Additionally, outside of Anderson Cooper 360, he has won an Emmy Award, a National Headliners Award for his tsunami coverage, a Silver Plaque from the Chicago International Film Festival, a Bronze Award from the National Educational Film and Video Festival, and a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Journalism, among others honors.
In July 2012, Cooper confirmed that he is a gay man, after years of remaining private in regard to his sexual preference. The news unfolded after a friend of Cooper's, Andrew Sullivan, a writer for The Daily Beast, asked Cooper for his reaction to an Entertainment Weekly story. Cooper's reaction, which Sullivan later publicly posted online, was as follows: "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."
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