Anderson Cooper is a news anchor that is best known as the presenter of the show Anderson Cooper 360� on CNN. He gained his position on that show after rising to prominence in the 1990s, reporting from the scene of nations such as Vietnam and Myanmar. Despite his willingness to go in-depth with controversial topics, Anderson has always been adverse to sharing too much about his private life. For this reason, many were surprised in 2012 when he came out to the public as gay. Since then, fans have gotten to know a little more about Anderson’s personal life, as well as his ex-boyfriend Benjamin Maisani. Although the two broke up in 2018, they have continued living together since. Not only that, but they are now co-parenting! In 2020, Anderson announced to the public that he had become a father with the help of a surrogate. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at why Anderson Cooper is living with his ex-boyfriend.
Anderson Hays Cooper was born in Manhattan on June 3 of 1967. His parents were a mother and father, and he was related to the prestigious Vanderbilt family on his mother’s side. The Vanderbilt name was made famous by Cornelius Vanderbilt, a business magnate with several shipping and railroad empires. The family was the wealthiest family in the world until the time of Cornelius’ death in 1877, well before Anderson was born. However, that didn’t mean that Anderson’s immediate family wasn’t well-off. Anderson was no stranger to the media, having appeared on a 1970 episode of The Tonight Show with his mother at the age of only three years old. Throughout his later childhood years, Anderson could be seen modeling in adverts for Macy’s, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren. It seemed that the boy had a promising future. However, tragedy was soon going to strike his family.
Anderson’s father died on January 5 of 1978 as a result of a series of heart problems. He was undergoing open-heart surgery at the time. The 10-year-old Anderson was devastated, and so was his older brother. This wasn’t the only tragedy that struck the family. Over 10 years later, his older brother committed suicide. His brother’s name was Carter Vanderbilt Cooper, and he jumped from a height of 14 floors on July 22, 1988. He was only 23 years old. Anderson was severely affected by his brother’s suicide, and has said that it is one of the reasons that he became interested in journalism. On top of dealing with these tragedies at a young age, Anderson also had to deal with dyslexia. The boy suffered from dyslexia throughout his childhood. Thankfully, his parents had the resources to seek out therapy. As he was growing older, one of his therapists used the book Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad to help increase Anderson’s reading skills. This novella proved another huge influence on the young man’s choice to become a journalist, as well as an even more distinct choice that he was going to make soon after graduating high school.
Several years after his father’s death and before his brother’s, Cooper graduated from the prestigious Dalton School a semester early. This preparatory high school had given him all the building blocks he needed to get into an Ivy League university. However, first Anderson wanted to go on a survival trip to Africa. Among other things, this trip was largely inspired by the boy’s reading of Heart of Darkness years earlier. That novella famously depicts a journey into the heart of Africa that is akin to “entering into the heart of darkness”. As any good journalist, Anderson wanted to see this darkness for himself. He went on the trip when he was only 17, and it lasted for several months. He has recalled that he contracted malaria while he was on the trip, though he recovered after being hospitalized in the country of Kenya.
When Anderson returned from Africa, he was ready to go on with his education. He attended Yale University, and majored in political science. During college, he spent a couple of summers working as an intern at the CIA. He graduated in 1989, less than a year after his brother’s suicide. When he got out, he decided that he wanted to try and pursue journalism, even though that wasn’t what he had majored in. He figured that, despite his lack of any formal journalistic education, he might be able to work up the ranks at ABC from an entry-level position. However, even a job answering telephones at the station eluded the young man. He was intent on scratching his new journalistic itch somehow, so he decided to travel to Myanmar on his own and begin reporting on the students there that were fighting the Burmese government. He forged a press pass to get unprecedented access and was able to meet firsthand with some of the students. Cooper fashioned this footage into home-made segments that he pitched to Channel One News. They enjoyed the segments, and decided to purchase them to air on their own content network. Following this success, Cooper travelled to and filmed similar segments in Rwanda, Bosnia, Somalia, and Vietnam.
In 1994, Cooper was personally documenting the violent genocide in Rwanda. On this excursion, he began to question what he was doing with his life out on the road. It came to a point where the young journalist had seen so many bodies in the street that the sight no longer phased him. He decided it was time to head back to America for a while and start reporting from a distance. Now with some impressive experience as a freelance journalist, he was finally able to secure a position at ABC News.
In 1995, Anderson became a correspondent for the ABC network. By 1999 he had become co-anchor of the network’s overnight news program, World News Now. In the year 2000, Anderson took a break from reporting and became the host of an ABC reality show, The Mole. After performing that role for two seasons, he quit. According to him, the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 made him feel that “he needed to be getting back to news”. However, he was no longer satisfied with ABC, and now had his sights set on CNN. After several anchoring and co-anchoring positions on various CNN programs, Anderson was given his own show on the network in 2003. This show was called Anderson Cooper 360�. In 2012, the actor came out as gay, granting fans an increased view into his private life. Today, he is raising his infant son in a living arrangement that has been turning some heads. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! As well, subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
On April 27 of 2020, Anderson Cooper had an emotional announcement to make live on the set of his CNN television show. That announcement was that the news anchor was now a father! Anderson, who was currently single and still technically is, had the child thanks to the help of a surrogate. Anderson told his viewers that “as a gay kid, [he] never though [that having a child of his own] would be possible”. He proceeded to thank “all those who paved the way”, including his “remarkable surrogate”, “all of the doctors and nurses”, as well as “everyone [else] involved in [his] son’s birth”. He named the baby Wyatt, which was the name of his late father.
Anderson’s mother had passed in 2019, and he said on the broadcast that he wished that his immediate family members “were alive to [have met] Wyatt”. However, he added that he did “like to believe they [could still] see him”. Despite his immediate family having passed on, there was one unlikely person that Anderson had to turn to. This person was Anderson’s close friend and ex-boyfriend, Benjamin Maisani. Although the two stopped dating in 2018, they have remained close friends since and continued living together after their break-up. With the introduction of baby Wyatt, the two understandably began taking to co-parenting, despite not being technically romantically involved.
This new development in Anderson and Benjamin’s relationship is ironic, given that the reason the two broke up in 2018 was that Benjamin seemingly didn’t want kids. At the time, the two had been dating for around three years and had begun living together. Anderson made a public statement saying that they were “still family to each other, and [loved] each other very much”. While the romance might not have rekindled, it appears that Benjamin has come around to the idea of having children around the house. Benjamin was present in the delivery room when the surrogate was giving birth to Wyatt, and Anderson publicly announced soon after that he intended to raise Wyatt with Benjamin as his co-parent. When asked whether or not the two getting back together romantically was on the table, Anderson has said that “it’s not going to happen”. That hasn’t stopped Anderson and Benjamin from considering adding another addition to their unique new family, with Anderson having said that he thinks it would be “great for [his new son] to have a sibling”. However, he went on to say that he wasn’t “sure [if he] could handle another”.
While many have raised an eyebrow at Anderson Cooper’s choice to co-parent his new child with a failed romantic partner, it’s doubtful that Anderson much cares. After having publicly come out about his sexuality in 2012, the longtime news anchor has likely grown accustomed to the negativity that can stem from living your life the way that you want to live it. Comment down below to share if you’re supportive of Anderson and his son’s new living arrangement, or if you think he should try and find a romantic partner that can offer him a longtime commitment. As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!