Ancestry of Anderson Cooper

This article written and copyright 2013 by Will Johnson,, Professional Genealogist

1 Anderson Hays Cooper
Anderson Cooper was born 3 Jun 1967 in New York City, the son of Wyatt Emory Cooper, an author and screenwriter and fourth husband of Gloria Vanderbilt.  He had an older full-brother Carter, who committed suicide at age 23 by jumping from the family's 14th-floor apartment at 10 Gracie Square.  He also has two half-brothers from her mother's prior marriage to conductor Leopold Stokowski whom she had married in 1945.  Anderson entered Yale in 1984 or 1985.  He is a journalist, author, news anchor and talk show host.  He is openly gay, living with his boyfriend Benjamin "Ben" Maisani.

2 Wyatt Emory "Buddy" Cooper, author
Wyatt Emory Cooper was born 1 Sep 1927 in Quitman, Clarke County, Mississippi, the third of seven children of Emmett Cooper and his wife Jennie.  When he was three, the family moved to a farm near the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, where in 1908 his mother's family, the Andersons had donated land for that church.  In the US Federal Census of 1930, his father is listed as a Locomotive Fireman, on a Steam RR, in the 1940 census as a farmer.  Wyatt was educated at Berkeley and at UCLA, although it's not yet clear which one came first.

Starting out as an actor, he appeared on Broadway, Sep/Oct 1953, at the Broadhurst Theatre in "The Strong Are Lonely", which only ran for seven performances. He appeared in the live television drama "Westinghouse Studio One" in 1954-5.  In 1957 with "The American Theatre in Rome", he had gone to Italy to be one of a troupe that would give "a series of seven plays".  In commenting on the first of these plays, Leonard Lyons, mentions Wyatt at the top of his syndicated column.  He became involved with director Tony Richardson (1928-91) (who much later died from AIDS), and had a small role in Tony's film Sanctuary (1961).  At this time, he met Christopher Isherwood.  He collaborated with Don Mankiewicz to write the script for The Chapman Report (1962), which starred Shelley Winters, Jane Fonda, Efrem Zimbalist Jr, Claire Bloom, and Glynis Johns.  It was directed by George Cukor.

It was probably this movie, which allowed him in begin to mingle in a certain more rarefied class of company.  He was at a dinner party in 1962, at the home of Edith (Mayer) Goetz, wife of film-producer William Goetz, and daughter of MGM studio head Louis B Mayer, when he met Gloria Vanderbilt, she recalls "He had the bluest eyes I'd ever seen".  She divorced her husband of that time, director Sidney Lumet, in Juarez, Mexico -- and four months later, Wyatt married her as her fourth husband, in a secret ceremony December 1963 in Arlington, Virginia.  He then moved to her residence in Manhattan.  He is mentioned under 1962 in Ned Rorem's published diary.  In a recent biography on Truman Capote, in referring to Truman, Wyatt is called "one of his closest friends".  In 1966 he is mentioned as a "television director" but without naming what he directed.

Wyatt and Gloria had two sons, the elder of which committed suicide at age 23 by leaping from the family's 14-floor apartment at 10 Gracie Square.  The younger of the two sons is news anchor Anderson Cooper, born in 1967 in New York City.

In 1968, Wyatt contributed an article on Dorothy Parker, to Esquire magazine.  The same year, Gloria Steinem tells us, he had written "a graceful and laudatory introduction" for Senator McCarthy. In 1969, Wyatt and Gloria appeared together, as themselves, on television, on the Merv Griffin Show.  Beginning in 1969, he edited a Magazine called Status.  In the 1960s and early 1970s, he with Gloria are mentioned several times in fashion-oriented articles, usually with claims such as "best dressed".  In 1966 he was "the first to wear the Nehru jacket in America... (designed by Oleg Cassini)."  In 1969 they became the "first married couple to cop best-dressed honors".  Because of that honor, Waltrina Stovall of "This Week" published a multi-page interview with him in 1969.  In Sep 1969, he is mentioned as designing "coats for men".  In 1970 he traveled around California, to narrate several I. Magnin / Bill Tice fashion shows.

In 1971 Wyatt and Gloria appeared together on the short-lived talk show, "Joyce and Barbara: For Adults Only", the co-hosts were Joyce Davidson and Barbara Walters.  When Charlie Chaplin, returned from Europe in 1972 to accept an honorary award, it was Wyatt and Gloria who hosted his welcome party.  In 1972 for television, he co-wrote with Truman Capote, a prison story "The Glass House", which was adapted by Tracy Keenan Wynn, and called "a documentary-like drama".  It played on the "The New CBS Friday Night Movie".  Later that same year it was announced that "Ann Miller may return to Broadway in a new version of 'Anything Goes' written by Wyatt Cooper..."  In 1973 it was announced that a "new musical based on the life and works of the late Dorothy Parker, with book by Wyatt Cooper, is now being planned 'Dottie' is expected to begin production next year."  In 1975 Wyatt's book "Families: A Memoir and a Celebration" was published.  He is also named as "critic Wyatt Cooper" in a quote about the camp drag star Divine, quoted in Boze Hadleigh's "The Lavender Screen".  Wyatt died in New York City on 5 Jan 1978 during open-heart surgery.  He is buried in the Vanderbilt family cemetery on Staten Island.

3 Gloria Vanderbilt, GW
20 Feb 1924 New York City only child
married third to Sidney Lumet, divorced him
married fourth on 24 Dec 1963 in Arlington, Virginia, to Wyatt Emory Cooper, then an actor, later an author
gave birth to Carter at Doctors Hospital, New York City, on 22 Jan 1965, same hospital where Jane Fonda was born

4 Emmitt Debrow Cooper
born 7 Dec 1888 Alabama
listed in the WWI DRC as a mail carried (1917)
listed in the US Federal Census of 1930 as a locomotive fireman
listed in the US Federal Census of 1940 as a farmer
died Nov 1945 New Orleans, Louisiana

5 Jennie Anderson
Jennie Anderson was born 14 Oct 1896, the eldest child of William Michael "Will" Anderson and his wife Annie Campbell, who had married 23 Dec 1895 in Clarke County, Mississippi.

listed in the 1956 Meridian, MS Address Directory as "Jennie A (widow Emmett D) gro[cery] 3723 5th, with her home at the same address
died Jun 1972 as "Jennie Birdsong" her final married name

6 Reginald Claypoole /Vanderbilt/ , W
7 Gloria /Morgan/ , identical twin, author, W

10 William Michael Anderson
11 Annie Campbell
12 Cornelius /Vanderbilt/ II
13 Alice Claypoole /Gwynne/ ; W
14 Harry Hays /Morgan/ Sr; diplomat
15 Laura Delphine /Kilpatrick/

24 William Henry "Billy" /Vanderbilt/ , W
25 Maria Louisa /Kissam/
26 Abraham Evan /Gwynne/ , lawyer
27 Rachel Moore "Cettie" /Flagg/
28 Phliip Hickey /Morgan/ , US Ambassador to Mexico 1880-5; W
29 Beatrice Leslie /Ford/
30 Hugh Judson /Kilpatrick/ , Major General
31 Luisa /Valdivieso/

48 Cornelius /Vanderbilt/ , railroad tycoon, W
49 Sophia /Johnson/
50 Samuel /Kissam/
51 Margaret Hamilton /Adams/
52 David /Gwynne/ , Major
53 Alice Anne /Claypoole/
54 Henry Collins /Flagg/ Jr
55 Martha /Whiting/
56 Thomas Gibbes /Morgan/
57 Eliza Anne /McKennan/
58 James /Ford/ of Baton Rouge; Judge

106 Abraham George /Claypool/
107 Elizabeth /Steele/

212 James /Claypool/
213 Mary /Chambers/

424 Joseph /Claypool/
425 Edith /Warde/

848 James /Claypoole/ , merchant in London
849 Helena /Mercer/ or Merces or Mercers

See Descendants of Richard Cecil