A keen observer of the world around him and one of the most recognizable news reporters of the past decade, Anderson Cooper has been called "the anchorperson of the future." Born in New York in 1967 to heiress Gloria Vanderbilt and writer Wyatt Cooper, Cooper's life in the spotlight began at an early age. Often appearing with his mother on television shows and in magazines, and then later working as a model for various designers in his teens, Cooper experienced a small dose of celebrity before he even graduated high school. Not wooed by the media's fascination with his family, the ambitious young Cooper chose to attend Yale University where he studied political science. During the summer before his senior year though, Cooper's life was rocked with the tragedy of his older brother's suicide. The loss devastated Cooper and, he has said, spurred him to pursue a career in journalism. The experience is credited with being the impetus behind Cooper's decision to often focus his reporting on loss and tragedy. His career in news media has varied from working as a news correspondent, reality TV show host for The Mole, fill-in host on Regis & Kelly, and, currently, as the host of his own show, Anderson Cooper 360°. He has also been a freelance writer, a published author, and documentary host over the years. His best-selling novel, Dispatches from the Edge, chronicles the time he spent covering the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami, and the Iraq War during the year 2005, stories which are interspersed with experiences and memories from his own childhood. He has won multiple Emmy Awards for his work, as well as a Bronze Telly, a Silver Plaque from the Chicago International Film Festival, and a GLAAD Media Award. Intensely private, admirably objective, and inspirationally impassioned, Anderson Cooper has set the tone for the next generation of news anchors in this country, and around the world.
"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."