is an American journalist, television personality, and author.
He is the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°.
Cooper was born in New York City, the younger son of the writer Wyatt Emory Cooper and the artist, fashion designer, writer, and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt.
He later returned to filming stories from a variety of war-torn regions around the globe, including Somalia, Bosnia, and Rwanda.
On assignment for several years, Cooper had very slowly become desensitized to the violence he was witnessing around him; the horrors of the Rwandan genocide became trivial: "I would see a dozen bodies and think, you know, it's a dozen, it's not so bad." On the side of the road [Cooper] came across five bodies that had been in the sun for several days.
The skin of a woman's hand was peeling off like a glove.
Revealing macabre fascination, Cooper whipped out his disposable camera and took a closeup photograph for his personal album. Later that person showed Cooper the photo, saying, "You need to take a look at what you were doing." "And that's when I realized I've got to stop, [...] I've got to report on some state fairs or a beauty pageant or something, to just, like, remind myself of some perspective." In 1995, Cooper became a correspondent for ABC News, eventually rising to the position of co-anchor on its overnight World News Now program on September 21, 1999.
In 2002, he became CNN's weekend prime-time anchor.
Since 2002, he has hosted CNN's New Year's Eve special from Times Square.
After Cooper graduated from Yale University, he tried to gain entry-level employment with ABC answering telephones, but was unsuccessful.
Finding it hard to get his foot in the door of on-air reporting, Cooper decided to enlist the help of a friend in making a fake press pass.
At age 17, after graduating from Dalton a semester early, Cooper traveled around Africa for several months on a "survival trip".