Born to the Vanderbilt family one of the wealthiest families ANDERSON COOPER the son of the writer Wyatt Emory Cooper and artist, designer, writer, and railroad heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, was supposed to have a very luxurious, comfortable life.
It was until he was 21 year old when his older brother carter committed suicide by jumping from the 14th-floor terrace of Vanderbilt’s New York City penthouse apartment in front of Anderson and his mother’s eyes “Loss is a theme that I think a lot about, and it’s something in my work that I dwell on. I think when you experience any kind of loss, especially the kind I did, you have questions about survival: Why do some people thrive in situations that others can’t tolerate? Would I be able to survive and get on in the world on my own” said Anderson
After graduating from Yale University, He tried to gain entry-level employment with ABC answering telephones. He instead took a job as fact-checker for the much smaller Channel One, which produces a youth-oriented news program that is broadcast to many junior high and high schools in the United States.
After six months, Cooper decided that he wanted to switch to reporting “I figured if I told anyone, they wouldn’t give me the chance ,so I quit my job and moved overseas and started shooting with my own video camera. I figured if I put myself in situations where there weren’t many Americans around and I shot little stories, then I could sell them to Channel One. I wanted to make it impossible for them to not put me on air. I had a friend of mine make a fake press passes on a Macintosh,” said cooper.
Snuck into Burma and hooked up with some students fighting the Burmese government, smuggled across the border into Burma got him his first story and then he lived for a year in Vietnam, then returned to filming stories from a variety of war-torn regions around the globe, including Somalia, Bosnia and Rwanda. Haunted by his brother’s suicide, Anderson explains, “The only thing I really knew is that I was hurting and needed to go someplace where the pain outside matched the pain I was feeling inside.” Cooper describes himself as having become “fascinated with conflict” during this dangerous period of his life. While “witnessing history” was an incentive for him to report from such locales.
In 1995, Cooper became a correspondent for ABC News, eventually rising to the position of co-anchor of World News Now. In 2000 he switched career paths, taking a job as the host of ABC’s reality show The Mole: “My last year at ABC, I was working overnights anchoring this newscast then during the day at 20/20. So I was sleeping in two- or four-hour shifts, and I was really tired and wanted a change. I wanted to clear my head and get out of news a little bit, and I was interested in reality TV—and it was interesting.”
However, he left The Mole after its second season to return to broadcast news in 2001, now at CNN, two seasons were enough, and 9/11 happened, and he thought he needed to be getting back to news, and since then he is proceeding as one of the most distinguished reporters worldwide and In early 2007, Cooper signed a multi-year deal with CNN, which would allow him to continue as a contributor to 60 Minutes as well as doubling his salary from $2 million annually to a reported $4 million.
“I think the notion of traditional anchor is fading away, the all-knowing, all-seeing person who speaks from on high. I don’t think the audience really buys that anymore. As a viewer, I know I don’t buy it. I think you have to be yourself, and you have to be real and you have to admit what you don’t know, and talk about what you do know, and talk about what you don’t know as long as you say you don’t know it. I tend to relate more to people on television who are just themselves, for good or for bad, than I do to someone who I believe is putting on some sort of persona. The anchorman on The Simpson’s is a reasonable facsimile of some anchors that have that problem.” said Cooper
This article was published under my name in Manifesto magazine as a part of the Dreams do come true series during 2007.
One thought on “Dreams do come true : Hope is NOT a plan !”
I’m impressed: he grew up ‘little rich boy,’ yet came into his own by himself, not using the Vanderbilt name… and made a name for himself along the way (money too). Kudos for you, Anderson!