CNN journalist Anderson Cooper has always felt the need to be where the action is and where History unfolds. His personal style is both provocative and emotional, and is probably a result of a life full of unique experiences.
Anderson Cooper is an American journalist who has reported from almost every prominent war zone in the last 15 years, including Burma, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Rwanda. He has covered the tsunami damage in Sri Lanka; the Cedar Revolution in Beirut, the death of Pope John Paul II; the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles; the Egyptian Revolution from Tahrir Square, the bombings in London, the violence in Mexico.
He is the son of artist, designer, socialite and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, who was especially famous for her jeans collections in the 1970´s, and a descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the railroad and shipping 19th century tycoon. Born to a wealthy family, he had a priviledged upbringing. At age 10, Cooper was already modelling for the likes of Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein among others. However, as a journalist today he is a celebrity in his own right, with his trademark premature gray hair and his unique emotional, honest and provocative style of journalism.
Adventurous from an early age, at 17 he travelled around Africa where he contracted malaria and had to be hospitalized in Kenya. When he was 21, his older brother commited suicide jumping from the 14th-floor terrace of Vanderbilt’s New York City penthouse apartment, a dramatic event that marked him profoundly. He studied both Political Science and International Relations at Yale University and he also spent two summers as an intern at the CIA.
Despite being today the anchor of his own CNN show Anderson Cooper 360º, and having worked as a correspondent for 60 minutes, and for ABC news, he really has no formal journalistic education. His first correspondence work was in Myanmar, where he entered on his own with a forged press pass and started reporting on the student riots for Channel One, a small news agency where he worked at the time. In the early 1990’s Cooper lived in Vietnam for a year to study the language.
Cooper brings a very personal style to his reporting that has been frequently called emo-journalism. This was especially true during his coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Because of his credibility, humanity and authenticity he was once described as the anchorperson of the future.
Recently, while covering the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, a violent fight broke out outside a store and a boy was wounded in the head with a stone. Cooper, who was reporting from the scene, stopped, picked up the bleeding boy and pulled him away to safety before continuing his reporting. The video was seen around the world. It is this kind of actions that set Anderson Cooper apart from traditional war journalists.
“Dispatches from the Edge”, Cooper’s memoirs about covering the South Asia tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and other news events, recently topped the New York Times Bestsellers List and other bestseller charts. He reportedly earns more than $4 million a year.
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