Born on June 3, 1967, Anderson decided to pursue a career in journalism after he got his Bachelor’s degree from Yale University. While there, the son of Wyatt Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt studied Political Science and International Relations. Upon graduation, he moved to Vietnam to study the native language at the University of Hanoi and then became a fact-checker for the educational network Channel One.
Anderson’s career didn’t pick up until 1995 when he became a correspondent for ABC News and moved his way up to World News Now. But even with a promotion, Anderson didn’t feel happy with what he was doing. “I was miserable at ABC,” the eight-time Emmy winner once said in an interview. “I was young. I didn’t do a good job of fitting in at the company. I didn’t do a good job of figuring out how it all worked. I just sort of sat in my office and did my own thing.”
Although he learned great skills there like how to quickly turn around a news package, Anderson didn’t feel completely happy until he left ABC and joined CNN in 2001. “Finally in like ’99, I realized I don’t want to be 60 years old and holding to some TV anchor about where I’m being sent on any given day,” the silver-haired fox said. “I don’t want to wake up every day not knowing where I’m going to be or not knowing where I’m going to be sent. Or will suddenly have to [put] on a plane somewhere and tell minute and a half story. I would like to have more control over what I’m doing.”
Anderson found that control when he anchored alongside Paula Zahn on American Morning from 2001 to 2002. After doing a good job there, he became CNN’s weekend prime-time anchor and then started hosting his own show Anderson Cooper 360 in 2003. Now, Anderson makes $12 million a year, according to Celebrity Net Worth, and he does it all for his cute son, Wyatt.