Happy Birthday Anderson Cooper! 13 Throwbacks of the News Anchor and New Father
The CNN anchor has lived a life in the spotlight, but has worked hard to make his own mark
Cooper was born on June 3, 1967 to socialite Gloria Vanderbilt and actor and screenwriter Wyatt Cooper. Here, he's pictured lying on his father's lap alongside his mother and brother, Carter in 1972.
Mom's Little Guy
Anderson (left) poses for a portrait with his mother, the late Gloria Vanderbilt and his late brother, Carter in 1969.
In 1972, Anderson donned matching pajamas with Carter for a portrait with their mother.
All Buttoned Up
Anderson looks grown up in a red button-down in his family's New York City apartment in 1976.
Quite the little equestrian! Anderson is pictured here with his mother and brother in 1976 wearing a full riding uniform, complete with a riding crop and helmet.
His maternal grandfather, Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt, was an equestrian, so it only makes sense Anderson stepped into his riding boots.
Cooper told PEOPLE that he earned his own money from a young age, working as a child model for brands like Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein.
“It was important to me and I think important to my parents that I be on my own and figure things out on my own and kind of forge my own path, and I’m really grateful for that,” he told PEOPLE.
Here, he's pictured with his brother, Carter, and his mother in 1976.
Check out that oh-so-'70s bowl haircut!
Big Night Out
Vanderbilt took her sons to the premiere of the film Manhattan in 1979. Check out how dapper Anderson looks in his little suit!
Smile for the Camera
Anderson smiles while out with his mother and brother in 1980.
Handsome As Ever
Check out that hair! Anderson dresses up in a tuxedo for an art gala in Southampton, New York.
Cooper began his career in journalism in part because of his father's premature death at age 50 in 1978 and his brother Carter's death by suicide in 1988.
His mother told New York Magazine, "These are the two events that affected him at gut level. Later, when he became a reporter, it enabled him to do this with compassion and maturity way beyond his years. I’ve always thought that TV is like an X-ray. And when you see Anderson on TV, what you see is what you get. He really is like that."
On April 30, 2020, Cooper announced that he welcomed a baby boy, Wyatt Morgan.
"He is named after my father, who died when I was ten," Cooper said when he announced the birth on Anderson Cooper 360°. "I hope I can be as good a dad as he was."
In 1995, Cooper became a correspondent for ABC News, and eventually became co-anchor for World News Now. In this photo, Cooper reports from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
On the Air
In 1999, Cooper became the co-anchor on ABC's World News Now program. He eventually moved on to host the reality show The Mole in 2000, but returned to news in 2001. In 2003, he scored his own show on CNN, Anderson Cooper 360°, which he has hosted for 17 years.
In 2012, Cooper came out as gay, and he has since become one of the most visible gay men in media.
“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,” Cooper wrote in an open letter to his longtime friend Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Beast.